ET The Economic Times:
Bank lending shrinks by 1.9 trillion in 2009: BIS
Lending fell by $1.9 trillion in 2009 and has contracted by $3.8 billion since September 2008 - or 11 percent - according to BIS, the coordinating body for the world's central banks. The statistics - the only ones to chart cross-border lending around the world - show it is taking time for lending to pick up.
Well, whether and when it ever will pick up again depends upon the banks' will to switch from gambling on currencies and commodities betting against themselves and the rest of the world and find their way back to the roots providing finance to industry and trade. As this is a boring business, margins are small, risky too (as no government backs it up, yet) it is much less attractive than the "fast buck" in the world's casinos.
The decrease in lending at such a rate is a killer to all systems that make our economies. At the same time Greece, even though it tried ever so hard, can no longer hold it off:
FT: Greece to seek activation of EU/IMF aid
So the EURO now breeches all the set rules, all laws once set in stone in Maastricht.