We examine the relation among measures of credit expansion, measures of financial market stress, and standard macroeconomic aggregates. We use a form of structural VAR with monthly data on 10 variables. The model explains observed variation as driven by 10 mutually independent structural disturbances. We identify the shocks from variation across time in their relative variability. One of them emerges as representing monetary policy. We find two distinct financial stress shocks, suggesting that attempts to create a one-dimensional index of financial stress may be misguided. While our results are consistent with the finding by others of a negative reduced form relation between credit expansion and future output growth at certain frequencies, we find the output decline to be explained by the monetary policy response to the inflation that accompanies the credit expansion. In pseudo-out-of-sample forecasting tests, neither bond spreads, interbank spreads, nor credit aggregates had much predictive value far in advance of the 2008-9 downturn, though spreads (but not credit aggregates) were helpful in recognizing the downturn once it had begun.