Flashback: The Quality of Credit in Booms and Depressions

May 11, 2009

A [surprisingly?] apt description of a credit boom….

“The prevention of serious economic depression in the United States is one of the crucial problems of our generation. […]  In the past few years important new historical evidence has been developed on the cumulating deterioration in the quality of credit during the period of prosperity that precedes severe depression. […] With respect to the current situation we must concern ourselves with the fact that some, at least, of the economic conditions are in evidence today. What are these conditions? First and foremost is a rapid increase in the volume of credit or debt. Second, a rapid, speculative increase in the prices of the assets that are brought with the rapidly increasing credit, such as real estate, common stocks, or commodity inventories. Third, vigorous competition among leaders for new business. Fourth, relaxation of credit terms and lending standards. Fifth, a reduction in the risk premiums sought or obtained by lenders.” – Moore, G.H. (1956). The Quality of Credit in Booms and Depressions. Journal of Finance 11, 288-300.

… published in 1956.

One Response to “Flashback: The Quality of Credit in Booms and Depressions”


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