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A recession coming? Tell me something new.

A Recession Coming? Tell Me Something New

Hats off to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and other federal banking regulators for scaring the pants off bankers across the nation and pushing the economy into a recession. Like a drunk-turned-prohibitionist, the fast and loose lending climate of the mid-1980s has now become parsimonious and niggardly enough to satisfy even Saturday Night Live's Church Lady.

The predictable result: recession.

The Georgia State University Economic Forecasting Center in Atlanta says 10 out of 12 southeastern states are heading toward recession status, and three (Louisiana, North Carolina and Tennessee) are already in the economic doldrums.

Based on tax receipt records, Arkansas' personal income has stalled; corporate income has declined for the past six out of seven quarters and is down 10 percent from its 1989 third quarter peak.

The one bright spot in The Natural State is a 44 percent increase over the previous year in commercial construction contracts posted in the second quarter. But that increase is probably temporary, driven by one-time public works and hospital projects, and unseasonably warm weather.

The majority of the blame belongs squarely on the notepads of post-S&L paranoid regulators who have worked hard at putting the fear of the banking gods into lenders nationwide.

Congratulations, OCC. Your recession has finally arrived.
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Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Oct 8, 1990
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