Over the course of the recession, growth in bank lending leapfrogged, and then sank below, growth in overall lending to nonfinancial sectors, excluding the government.

Given the spectacular meltdown in securitization, and the relative stability of commercial banking amid the colossal failures across the "shadow" system, the greater volatility could seem unexpected. But mortgage bonds packaged by Wall Street were supplanted by those with federal support, and the government housing rescue averted a blackout in home lending, the nation's largest category of debt.

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