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from Rolfe Winkler:

Morning Links 1-22

Geithner has reservations on US banks (Wutkowski/Eder, Reuters) More evidence that Geithner is a goner. Will Volcker replace him? Sheila Bair could be a dark horse. She has lots of Democratic fans on the Hill despite being appointed by a Republican. In any case, Geithner was on PBS last night defending the plan.

A closer look at the Volcker rule (Felix) Capitol Hill may not be taking Obama's rule very seriously. They think it was just a way to spin the news cycle away from the fact that healthcare will fail now that the Dems have lost their 60th vote in the Senate. Moreover, they don't think Obama's actually going to wage the fight against Wall Street that he claims he's ready for.

Bernanke faces tougher vote in Senate (Reddy/Paletta, WSJ)

Fed secrecy claims bogus redacted AIG details already public (Adams, Naked Capitalism) More detail in a second post here.

FDIC and Bank of England to cooperate on resolution of troubled cross-border financials (FDIC) Next time a big financial blows itself up, Sheila Bair and Mervyn King want to make sure they're prepared to deal with it in tandem.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Deposit Insurance Fund, UNoffcially

I was heading out for Thanksgiving vacation when FDIC released the quarterly banking profile, so I wasn't able to update an important chart: Total Insured Deposits, Unofficially.....

FDIC Culp

(ht Stephen Culp)

When the world was falling apart, FDIC increased deposit insurance limits....to $250,000 for individual non-retirement accounts and unlimited for business transaction accounts. But those increases were treated as "temporary" and so left out of FDIC's total.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Big banks get reprieve from FDIC

Due to new accounting rules -- FAS 166 and 167 -- banks have to bring certain off balance sheet assets back onto their balance sheets starting next year. More assets, same capital = lower capital ratios. (More in this column about the individual impact on the large banks).

Anyway, the FDIC has agreed to give big banks a 6 month reprieve on raising new capital to buffer the new assets. From Ian Katz at Bloomberg:

from Rolfe Winkler:

Politics and bank regulation don’t mix

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp tried to seize and sell Cleveland thrift AmTrust last January but local politicians intervened. In the end, the bank still went bust 11 months later - a delay that may have increased losses to the U.S. regulator’s funds. As Congress debates banking reform, AmTrust provides a useful warning that the regulatory apparatus needs to be kept free from politics.

Regulators had known for some time that AmTrust was troubled. AmTrust's chief regulator turned down the bank’s request for TARP money last fall. It also hit AmTrust with a cease-and-desist order, instructing management to change lending practices and boost capital by December 31. When AmTrust missed the deadline the FDIC decided to step in.

from Rolfe Winkler:

FDIC’s problem bank list grows to 552, DIF now negative

I'm not good at taking vacations....

FDIC published its quarterly banking profile today. Here are the latest banking industry statistics at a glance. A few interesting takeaways I'd like to highlight. First, the problem bank list grew again. And it still understates total problem assets...both Citi and Bank of American should also be on this list.

The number of institutions on the FDIC's "Problem List" rose to its highest level in 16 years. At the end of September, there were 552 insured institutions on the "Problem List," up from 416 on June 30. This is the largest number of "problem" institutions since December 31, 1993, when there were 575 institutions on the list. Total assets of "problem" institutions increased during the quarter from $299.8 billion to $345.9 billion, the highest level since the end of 1993, when they totaled $346.2 billion. Fifty institutions failed during the third quarter, bringing the total number of failures in the first nine months of 2009 to 95.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Sheila throws GMAC a bone

GMAC sold more FDIC-backed debt today... (Reuters)

General Motors Acceptance Corp on Wednesday sold $2.9 billion in three-year government-guaranteed notes, according to a market source familiar with the sale. The 1.75 percent notes were priced at 99.991 to yield 1.753 percent, or 31.6 basis points over comparable U.S. Treasuries.

The notes are guaranteed under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp's temporary liquidity guarantee program.

from Rolfe Winkler:

#100….and counting (+ charts)

Another failure in Georgia. And two in Naples.

#100

    Failed bank: Partners Bank, Naples FL Acquiring bank: Stonegate Bank, Ft. Lauderdale FL Vitals: as of 9/30, assets of $66 million, deposits of $65m DIF damage: $28.6m

#101

    Failed bank: American United Bank, Lawrenceville GA Acquiring bank: Ameris Bank, Moultrie GA Vitals: as of 8/11, assets of $111 million, deposits of $102m DIF damage: $44m

#102

from Rolfe Winkler:

Bank failure Friday

Later this evening, I'll have a post on stats for all failed banks since the beginning of 2007. In the meantime, we have our first failure of Q4:

#96

    Failed bank: Warren Bank, Warren MI Acquiring bank: Huntington National, Columbus OH Vitals: as of July 31, assets of $538 million, deposits of $501 million DIF damage: $275 million

#97

Sheila Bair and the black marker

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The other day I wrote a column about a series of meetings FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair had this summer with Citi Chairman Dick Parsons. The column was based on entries in Bair’s datebook, a copy of which the FDIC turned over to me in response to a FOIA request.

But here’s the thing, the FDIC actually tried to keep some of those meetings between Bair and Parsons secret–along with a number of other meetings the FDIC chairwoman had this summer. The FDIC said it needed to redact some of the entries to protect the agency’s work with the banks it regulates. The agency did this by using a simple black marker to cover over the names of some people.

The other GSE problem

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It’s hard to keep all the U.S. housing agencies straight. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still basket cases relying on government support, while the Federal Housing Administration and its partner, Ginnie Mae, are setting off alarm bells with their more aggressive efforts to support overstretched homeowners.

But the Federal Home Loan Banks, a government-sponsored
enterprise (GSE) that is the lesser-known cousin to Fannie and Freddie, is one to watch — particularly as small regional banks grapple with deteriorating loan portfolios and fewer financing alternatives.

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