This excerpt taken from the MI 10-K filed Feb 29, 2008.
M&Is earnings also are significantly affected by the fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government and its agencies, which could affect repayment of loans and thereby materially adversely affect M&I.
The policies of the Federal Reserve Board impact M&I significantly. The Federal Reserve Board regulates the supply of money and credit in the United States. Its policies directly and indirectly influence the rate of interest earned on loans and paid on borrowings and interest-bearing deposits and can also affect the value of financial instruments M&I holds. Those policies determine to a significant extent M&Is cost of funds for lending and investing. Changes in those policies are beyond M&Is control and are difficult to predict. Federal Reserve Board policies can affect M&Is borrowers, potentially increasing the risk that they may fail to repay their loans. For example, a tightening of the money supply by the Federal Reserve Board could reduce the demand for a borrowers products and services. This could adversely affect the borrowers earnings and ability to repay its loan, which could materially adversely affect M&I.