Commercial and industrial loans for banks have often been a great source of revenue for banks. Often the loans are simpler and less complex products than those dreamed up in investment banks, and are made to small- and medium-sized companies that are generally the stalwarts of the American economic engine.

The Federal Reserve reported that total outstanding commercial and industrial loans in August stood at $1.57 trillion, nearly eclipsing the peak of $1.61 trillion seen in October 2008. This comes after outstanding loans fell 25% to $1.2 trillion in October 2010.

1 Bank Aggressively Lending to Businesses from The Motley Fool.