Saturday, July 26, 2008

Falling Like Dominoes

We are waking up to the blaring headlines that regulators have taken over an additional 2 more banks. This brings us back to our February post regarding banks failures. The FDIC was gearing up and getting staff ready for approximately 100 bank failures over 12 to 24 months. That was five months ago today. Adding 2 more to the list makes seven. But these do not seem quite as substantial as the IndyMac collapse. But as we know the bigger they are the harder they fall.

Now lets look at an article from the Washington Post regarding today's news regarding two national banks failing -

First National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank were closed by U.S. regulators yesterday, the first institutions to fail since regulators seized IndyMac Bancorp two weeks ago following a run by depositors.

The banks, owned by First National Bank Holding Co. of Scottsdale, Ariz., are the sixth and seventh to fail this year as the financial-services industry grapples with failed loans stemming from the worst housing slump since the Depression.

Lenders on the FDIC's "problem list" grew to 90 in the first quarter from 76 in the fourth quarter of 2007, the FDIC said in May. The FDIC insures deposits at 8,494 institutions with $13.4 trillion in assets. The OCC is an agency of the Treasury Department that regulates national banks.

U.S. bank regulators closed First Integrity Bank, based in Minnesota, and ANB Financial in Arkansas in May; Hume Bank in Missouri in March; and Douglass National Bank in Missouri in January. The four lenders had $2.2 billion in assets and losses estimated at $225 million.

These two banks were from the super bubble states - Nevada and Arizona. It sounds like it is going from bad to worse out west. This was predicted but still is discomforting. The type of predictions people would prefer to be wrong about.

Some addition info form the article is the rise in expected failures from 76 last fall to 90 this spring. Meanwhile, the Guardian is predicting 300 in the next three years. Unfortunately, as things deteriorate this list will probably grow.

And we also have to watch out for the other list to grow - the list of bank failures. We are currently at 7 for the year. How high will this number climb?

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