Banks restarted loaning to customers with badly damaged credit, including those who recently declared bankruptcy. In December, credit card issuers gave 1.1 million cards to people with a poor credit history, a 12.3% increase compared with December 2010.
The Treasury Department said compensation for top executives at Ally Financial, General Motors and American International Group will remain frozen this year because the companies have not repaid all the funds they received under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The companies did not request pay raises.
There aren't enough loans being made to small businesses, writes Scott Shane of Case Western Reserve University. "Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke ... needs to get the banks to loosen up their lending standards if he wants [to] bring the small business credit market to the right temperature," he writes. But it's also important to avoid making credit too easy to get, which creates its own problems, he writes.
Washington Real Estate Investment Trust and Crimson Partners are restarting a multifamily development project in Arlington, Va. WRIT is taking majority ownership in the $43.5 million project with a 90% stake.