- - Monday, January 31, 2011

FED

Slight bank easing found for business loans

The Federal Reserve said Monday that banks loosened their lending standards modestly for certain business loans over the past three months, but kept tight standards on consumer loans.

The Fed said that 12 percent of the banks responding to its latest survey had somewhat eased their standards on commercial and industrial loans.

However, the survey found little change in the tight lending standards imposed on consumer loans since the housing market collapsed.

For the business loans, banks said the slight easing in standards reflected a less uncertain economic outlook and increased competition from other banks to make business loans.

The Fed’s survey covered 57 domestic banks. That included all of the nation’s largest institutions, which represent the bulk of lending activity in the country.

Forty-nine of the banks said their commercial and industrial lending policies were basically unchanged.

ILLINOIS

Emanuel wins paper endorsement

The Chicago Sun-Times has endorsed Rahm Emanuel - President Obama’s former chief of staff - in the race for mayor, calling him an “adaptive politician” and a “high-minded man.”

In an editorial that ran Monday, the paper said Mr. Emanuel “has the vision, the policies, the management experience, the political sophistication and the sheer force of personality to be a powerfully effective mayor.”

The paper acknowledged the former congressman’s reputation for being ruthless and a bully. But the editorial went on to say the “caricature fails to allow for Emanuel’s more agreeable traits and skills, such as his readiness to find common ground, build a coalition and strike a deal.”

Other candidates in the race include former Chicago schools president Gery Chico and former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.

The endorsement by the Sun-Times - Illinois’ second-largest newspaper, with the bulk of its distribution within the Chicago city limits -is considered a significant pickup for Mr. Emanuel.

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