Rolfe Winkler

Night of the living dead banks

February 23, 2010

Cross-posted from today’s NYT.

Killing zombies isn’t just a job for horror-movie heroines. It’s also one of Sheila Bair’s primary tasks. And the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp chief’s challenge has increased as the number of scary banks on the regulator’s watch list has spiked. Thankfully, there’s no financial excuse to keep FDIC from quickly exterminating the industry’s living dead.

No bank failures this Friday

February 13, 2010

With the problem bank list 552 names long, and the unofficial list even longer, one might expect FDIC to pick up the pace of bank closures. Yet here we are, six Fridays into the new year, and only 16 banks have been put into receivership, with none this week and only one last week. At that rate, we’ll see 136 closures in 2010, short of the 140 that were closed last year.

Morning Links 1-22

January 22, 2010

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.

Deposit Insurance Fund, UNoffcially

December 18, 2009

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…..

Big banks get reprieve from FDIC

December 15, 2009

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).

Bank failure Friday

December 11, 2009


    Failed bank: Republic Federal N.A., Miami FL Acquiring bank: 1st United Bank, Boca Raton FL Vitals: at 9/30, assets of $433m, deposits of $352.7m DIF damage: $122.6m


Politics and bank regulation don’t mix

December 8, 2009

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.

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

November 24, 2009

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.

Sheila throws GMAC a bone

October 28, 2009

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.

#100….and counting (+ charts)

October 23, 2009

Another failure in Georgia. And two in Naples.


    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


Bank failure Friday

October 2, 2009

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:

FDIC tries another gimmick

September 29, 2009

In the latest government gimmick to protect bank capital, the FDIC plans to replenish its Deposit Insurance Fund by front-loading regular premiums in lieu of another “special assessment.”

Let’s say RIP to PPIP

September 24, 2009

Remember PPIP? The Public-Private Investment Program was to provide cheap government financing to encourage investors to overbid for banks’ toxic assets.

Banks should pay for FDIC fund

September 22, 2009

The banking system is still suffocating under the weight of bad loans, and it’s well known that the FDIC doesn’t have enough cash to deal with the problem.

Corus, gone

September 11, 2009

Headlining this week’s bank failures is Corus out of Chicago. Condo loans in Florida and other bubbly states did ’em in. There’s an odd item in the press release. It lists the bank’s deposits as “approximately” $7 billion. I can’t remember seeing that modifier in a bank failure press release. When you read enough of them, the littlest things jump out at you…