The slide in the U.S. money supply growth rate continues to be fueled by declines in bank lending.
Since the peak in December of last year (US$9.2 trillion) loans outstanding have now declined by US$124.9 billion, or 1.4%. This might perhaps not sound like much of a decline, but it is really the growth rate of lending and money supply that matters.
If we look at the growth rate on a rolling quarterly annualised basis, the recent decline becomes more pronounced.
The importance of this slide in bank lending is that it is nearly always associated with economic problems of some sort, certainly during the last 36 years. Here's the same chart, but going back to 1981.
And here's a quick recap of what happened during previous periods when the rolling quarterly growth rate turned negative in the U.S.:
- Late 1980s/early 1990s: savings and loans crisis
- 1998: the fall of Long Term Capital Management, stock market turmoil
- 2000-2002: dotcom/telecoms bubbles popping
- 2007/08 - 2009: banking crisis (subprime crisis)
- 2017 - another banking crisis????
For more on the bank lending and money supply topic, see the range of articles I've published on Seeking Alpha recently, including: