Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and David Vitter, R-La., say they plan to introduce a bill that would address concerns about banks that are "too big to fail," partly by requiring large banks to hold more capital. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon says processes need to be in place to allow banks to fail and that small banks are not the solution. "We've raised $7.5 trillion [in financing] for customers. We cannot be replaced by small banks," he said.
China's official manufacturing index declined in February for the second consecutive month, hitting 50.1, compared with January's 50.4. The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing cited Chinese New Year, which is celebrated for a week in the country.
The Commerce Department has revised the gross domestic product for the fourth quarter from 0.1% contraction to 0.1% expansion. Government spending declined 15% during the quarter, and investment in inventory was lower than forecast. Despite uncertainty about the "fiscal cliff," consumer spending held up better than expected.
Banks say they are fulfilling a pledge made two years ago to the White House to increase small-business credit. Lending to borrowers with less than $20 million in annual revenue climbed 21% at Citigroup and 28% at Bank of America last year compared with 2011.
Small businesses must be aware of lending trends as they seek out financing, SCORE Association CEO Ken Yancey writes. The larger the bank, the less likely it is to lend to small businesses; well-capitalized, newer and less-profitable banks are more likely to lend to small companies, Yancey notes. He also says Small Business Administration loans should be considered. By contrast, alternative sources of capital such as crowdfunding should be approached with caution, Yancey writes.