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Are Banks Being Roiled by Oil?
Profits and employment in the oil and natural gas extraction industry have fallen significantly since 2014, reflecting a sustained decline in energy prices. In this post, we look at how these tremors are affecting banks that operate in energy industry?intensive regions of the United States. We find that banks in the ?oil patch? have experienced a significant rise in delinquencies on commercial and industrial loans. So far though, there appears to be limited evidence of spillovers to other types of loans and no evidence of widespread bank losses or failures in these regions.
AUTHORS: Velasquez, Ulysses; Thomas, Lauren; Vickery, James
Beginning to Gauge Maria’s Effect on Puerto Rico’s Economy
Just two weeks after most of Puerto Rico dodged the proverbial bullet, missing the brunt of Hurricane Irma, the island was devastated by Maria?one of the ten strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record. Making landfall on September 20, 2017, the storm caused not only massive physical destruction and tragic loss of life but also widespread and persistent power outages, shortages of potable (and even nonpotable) running water, and disruptions to telecommunications and travel, among other issues. With the storm boosting costs and disrupting activity, the short-term economic impact is clearly significant. But an even greater concern is that the adverse short-term effects of the storm, overlaid on an already shrinking economy, may evolve into long-term adverse effects. In this post, we focus on the magnitude, duration, breadth and nature of the economic disruptions, as measured mostly by employment.
AUTHORS: Bram, Jason; Thomas, Lauren
U.S. Virgin Islands' Economy Hit Hard by Irma and Maria
In the ten months that have passed since Hurricanes Irma and Maria ravaged the Caribbean, much interest has been focused on Puerto Rico and its roughly 3.3 million American citizens, who weathered the largest blackout in U.S. history. However, far less attention has been paid to the U.S. Virgin Islands, even though St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, and a number of smaller islands suffered comparable devastation. This is partly attributable to their much smaller population: the U.S. Virgin Islands (?Virgin Islands?) is home to roughly 105,000 people?1/30th Puerto Rico?s population. Even so, this territory is also part of the United States and the New York Fed?s district. In this post, we examine roughly six months of economic and related data on the Virgin Islands? economy to better ascertain the extent of disruption and subsequent recovery from the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
AUTHORS: Bram, Jason; Thomas, Lauren
Trends in household debt and credit
Since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, consumer financial and borrowing behavior, once considered a relatively quiet little corner of finance, has been of enormously increased interest to policymakers and researchers alike. Prior to the Great Recession, there was a historic run-up in household debt, driven primarily by housing debt, which coincided with a speculative bubble and sharp rises in home prices. Then, as prices began to fall, millions of households began defaulting on their mortgages, unable to keep up with home payments, and greatly contributing to the onset of the deepest recession since the 1930s. Following the steep increase in debt balances during the boom, households began rapidly paying off their loans during and immediately after the Great Recession. Since 2013, debt has begun to increase and eventually rise above its previous levels, albeit at a much slower rate than before, at least partially owing to stricter lending standards. We examine the trends in household debt before, during, and since the 2000s financial crisis and Great Recession. As we will show, this period is unique in American history in several ways. Our analysis will show the sources of the historic run-up in debt during the bubble period of the early 2000s, the change in borrowing behavior that took place as the financial crisis and Great Recession took hold, and the nature of the recovery that began in 2013. We find that while total household debt has recovered to its previous level in nominal terms, its composition and characteristics have changed dramatically along many dimensions.
AUTHORS: Van der Klaauw, Wilbert; Scally, Joelle; Lee, Donghoon; Thomas, Lauren; Haughwout, Andrew F.