Thursday, May 30, 2019

"U.S. banking regulator says strains growing in farm sector"

From Reuters:
A U.S. banking regulator on Wednesday said more farmers fell behind on their loans early this year, a sign that international trade tensions could be weighing on a farm sector already beset by years of low commodity prices.

In a quarterly report on the health of U.S. banks, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation did not directly refer to the Trump administration’s trade war with China which began in 2018. But officials at the regulator noted some farm banks were reporting a deterioration in asset quality.

“We are seeing some emerging strain,” Diane Ellis, director of the insurance and research division at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, said at a news briefing. “Mostly it affects our community banks in the middle of the country.”

Ellis said the strain had been building for years in the farm sector as commodity prices have fallen, and noted farm incomes were at half the levels they were six years ago.....MORE
Do note that last sentence. We've been pitching this idea for a couple years; the rain/cold and trade wars are adding misery on top of preexisting misery.