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For Minnesota banks, a painfully slow recovery

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Minnesota bankers may see their glass as half full or half empty. But it's filling up so slowly that many may have a parched feeling in the ledger.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis released its latest survey Tuesday. MPR's coverage focused on the fact that local banks are gradually getting out from under bad loans and are seeing their profits improve.

Finance & Commerce, meanwhile, pointed out that not only bad loans but loans in general are on the wane, and have been for nearly four years. So while retrenching has allowed bankers to stop the bleeding, their customary source of profits has also dwindled to a relative trickle.

In its own summary of its Minnesota findings, the Fed wrote that banking conditions continue to gain strength ... but improvement was often small.

Here's a Fed exec's overview of the Ninth District survey, which includes five states and part of a sixth:

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