Outstanding Commercial & Industrial Loans at U.S. banks have been growing at double-digit rates for the past six months, with no slowdown yet apparent. Over the past 3-6 months, loans have been growing at annualized rates of over 15%. This is one of the more impressive stories in the U.S. financial markets these days. Banks are using some of their $1.5 trillion of excess reserves to make new loans. Banks are more willing to extend credit, and businesses are more willing to take it on. This is a very positive sign because it reflects increased confidence all around and a decline in systemic risk.