Half against buying unsecured debtA survey of bank CEOs in 10 Midwestern and Plains states shows almost half strongly oppose the Federal Reserve’s plan to buy unsecured commercial paper to alleviate the U.S. credit crisis.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ A survey of bank CEOs in 10 Midwestern and Plains states shows almost half strongly oppose the Federal Reserve’s plan to buy unsecured commercial paper to alleviate the U.S. credit crisis.
About 36 percent of bankers strongly supported the purchase of the short-term debts, although Joanie Shephard, CEO of First National Bank in Valentine, said she did so “while plugging my nose.”
Meanwhile, the Rural Mainstreet Index, which ranges between 0 and 100, plunged to a record low of 34.3, down from September’s 38.5.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss and Bill McQuillan, CEO of City National Bank in Greeley, created the monthly economic survey of rural bank CEOs in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
The average community population covered by the survey is about 1,300.
Last October, the index was at a much healthier 52.1.
However, Midwest banks reported very strong conditions as the nation’s financial sector struggles.
“Large banks and banks that did not properly prepare for subprime mortgage crunch are the ones having difficulty,” said Mike Bass, president of First National Bank of Hugo in Hugo, Colo. “My bank is having a good year with very little credit-quality issues.”
The new-hiring index for October again indicated a loss of jobs, with a very weak 35.8, up slightly from August’s record low of 33.6.
Farm equipment sales plummeted, with the index falling to 47.2, its lowest rating in two years.
Retail sales were very weak, with the index at 28.3, down from 32.8 in September.