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Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Take a look at this sword of Damocles, featured at MSNBC. It's an US interactive map of banks ranked on troubled assets. You can click on any state and see the worst, the middlin' and the best. You can also go to the state and look up banks by city.

We feel a bit mournful in Georgia that we have not quite reached first in the nation, but many are sure that we will make it next quarter. I don't think Nevada really deserves the top listing. Oh, yeah, they have 17.9% of banks with troubled assets over 100%, but the whole blinkin' state only has 39 banks headquartered there. GA has 17.6% over 100% but we have 323 banks. Oops, 321 banks. Oops, 297 banks. Oops, 292 banks. And so it goes.

Florida is technically better than Georgia because they only have 15% holding the coveted loony loan officer's coveted 100% troubled assets laurel crown. Moreover, they only have 114 banks at 50% (38%), whereas Georgia has 127 at 50%, or 39% of all banks.

In fairness, Florida would have topped the nation if so many of the banks hadn't sold.

It is fortunate that Florida is so far from Canada, because many Canadians are armed and dangerous. Commerce bought a lot of Floridian bad banking apples right before the bust and then sold out to TD Bank Financial, a huge Canadian banking group. In the US it operates TD Bank.

One suspects that there may be a little northern heartburn going on. At a financial conference the Toronto-Dominion CFO just commented that returns from the US were disappointing. Fortunately it is a huge operation and can well absorb the losses, which must be there, because TD had to dump a billion into TD Bank.

Needless to say, the GA economy is suffering. Some quite conservative local banks are getting taken out by their participation loans. In the final run-up, there was nothing good to loan on, so the only thing they could do was participations. Back then treasuries weren't really an option. There may be entire communities with no banking services in another year. I can't figure out who would move in under the circs.

The dominoes are really starting to fall over.

There may be entire communities with no banking services in another year.

Now that sounds familiar from Grandpa's stories. If true, that'd put a dent in the rural economy.
Hm. This would be the same TD Bank that couldn't return four or five phone calls inquiring about a debit/credit processing system for my store, so I wound up with a different bank.

No heartburn for this Canuck, just a mild case of schadenfreude.
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