The `Fud Factor' Is Crippling Lending

If the yearlong drought in bank credit is ever going to end, institutions such as Cincinnati's Fifth Third Bancorp will have to lead the way. Fifth Third's finances are a regulator's dream: Equity exceeds 10% of the bank's $8.5 billion in assets, and less than 2% of its $5.5 billion in loans are in trouble. That's the kind of bank Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is counting on to break the credit logjam.

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