Wells Fargo: first big bank simple enough to fail

November 26, 2014

The $1.6 trln lender secured a provisional stamp of approval from regulators for its living will. Less credible plans from 11 other titans suggest size isn’t the issue. Wells ranks fourth in assets and first in market cap. The real problems are complexity and interconnectedness.

American banking has its own Tea Party

By Rob Cox
November 25, 2014

Like the anti-establishment wing of the GOP, the Independent Community Bankers of America has emerged as a highly vocal opponent of all things Wall Street, including a Lazard banker’s nomination for a Treasury role. These are the plaintive cries of a dying breed of banker.

LendingClub IPO mixes disruption with confusion

September 4, 2014

The peer-to-peer lender is growing fast, with fans ranging from John Mack to Larry Summers to Google. But it’s struggling to turn a profit, lacks some advantages of traditional banks and has yet to be tested by an economic slump. Investors need to know whether it’s fish or fowl.

Big banks don’t face daunting new world alone

March 13, 2012

Though U.S. lawmakers aimed much of their firepower at institutions deemed too big to fail, smaller lenders were caught in the crossfire. As the nation’s legions of community bankers gather in Nashville, they’ll grapple with similar regulatory and economic challenges.

Community banks don’t need another Obama sop

By Rob Cox
February 1, 2010

President Barack Obama's speeches suggest he doesn't dislike all banks -- just the big ones. Indeed, even though he used much of his State of the Union address last week to bash Wall Street and the money business, he threw the community banking industry another bone. He pledged to divert $30 billion of repaid Troubled Asset Relief Program money to smaller banks to help them make loans to small businesses.