Saturday, October 17, 2009

U.S. bank failure tally hits 99 for 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One more U.S. bank was shuttered on Friday, as the tally of failures so far this year inched closer to 100.

The pace of bank failures has picked up sharply this year as the industry continues to work through bad loans that were made during the credit boom.

On Friday regulators closed San Joaquin Bank of Bakersfield, California. It was the 99th U.S. bank failure of 2009.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, which was named receiver, said San Joaquin had $775 million in assets and $631 million in deposits.

Citizens Business Bank of Ontario, Calif., agreed to assume all deposits of San Joaquin, whose five branches will reopen on Monday as branches of Citizens Business Bank.

The failure is expected to cost the FDIC's insurance fund a total of $103 million.

U.S. bank failures have not reached the 100 mark since 1992 during the savings and loan crisis when 181 institutions were closed. In 1989, during the height of the savings and loan crisis, 534 banks failed.

Bank failures have drained the fund's balance, which turned negative at the end of the third quarter.

The FDIC, which insures accounts up to $250,000, has proposed a plan to boost its liquidity by having banks prepay three years of regular assessments.

The agency is expecting bank failures to cost the insurance fund about $100 billion from 2009-2013, and said failures will remain elevated this year and next.

The pace of bank failures is expected to remain rapid as banks' woes migrate from deteriorating subprime loans to commercial real estate loans.

The size of the failures, however, has dramatically decreased from last year, when panic in the financial markets caused many firms to topple or receive government bailouts.

"These are like aftershocks compared to the earthquakes we experienced in 2008," said Andrew Kuritzkes, a partner at consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

The largest bank failure of the current crisis was Washington Mutual, which was closed in September 2008, and had assets of $307 billion.

Other large banks, such as Wachovia, were sold when they ran into severe distress, and other financial firms received massive taxpayer bailouts, such as American International Group, which received government commitments of up to $182.5 billion.

COMMERCIAL LOANS LOOMING

Bank regulators sounded the alarm this week about the commercial real estate (CRE) sector, telling a Senate banking subcommittee that it represents the "greatest challenge" facing banks.

Officials are close to finalizing guidance that would encourage banks to recognize potential losses in their commercial real estate portfolios and not simply renew troubled loans to delay loss recognition.

"Prices for both existing commercial properties and for land... have declined sharply in the first half of this year, suggesting that banks are vulnerable to significant further deterioration in their CRE loans," U.S. Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel Tarullo told the Senate panel on Wednesday.

As of June, commercial real estate loans totaled more than $1 trillion, or 14.2 percent of all loans and leases in the banking industry, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said at the same hearing.

She said that area will increasingly be a driver for bank failures during the remainder of this year and 2010.

Petrasic said it is largely community banks, not national banks, that have significant commercial real estate exposures that will continue to spiral downward in value.

"It will absolutely be the most critical factor going forward," he said.

(Reporting by Karey Wutkowski and Ayesha Rascoe)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

FDIC In the RED - 98 Failures this year

Three bank failures on Friday brought the total number of FDIC-insured institutions that have failed this year to 98. The estimated cost to the FDIC’s insurance fund for Friday’s failures was $293.3 million.

On Tuesday, FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair acknowledged that the agency’s deposit fund would likely fall into the red within the week. Bair proposed a plan [2] to shore up the fund. Under the plan, banks would prepay their annual assessments owed to the FDIC. Payments that would normally stretch through 2012 would all be handed over this year. The plan would raise $45 billion. To avoid a hit on their earnings from the payments, banks would be allowed to record the prepayment as if they paid on the usual yearly schedule.

http://www.fdic.gov/bank/historical/bank/index.html

Thursday, October 8, 2009

US Job LOSSES GREATER than expected

More US jobs lost than expected
The economy has shed 7.6 million jobs since the recession began

The US economy lost 263,000 jobs in September, which was more than had been expected, according to official non-farm payrolls figures.

The jobless rate rose to a fresh 26-year high of 9.8% from August's figure of 9.7%.

The number in employment has now fallen for 21 consecutive months.

There was more bad news from the Labor Department, which revised its figures for July and August to show 13,000 more jobs lost than previously reported.

The economy as a whole is expected to have grown in the past three months, but recovery in the jobs market tends to lag behind the rest of the economy.

'Pattern of weakness'

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of people out of work has risen by 7.6 million to 15.1 million.


Expectations for recovery may have gotten a little ahead of the reality
Gary Thayer at Wells Fargo Advisors in Missouri

US unemployed despair as benefits run out

"Together with the ISM data, delinquencies data and even the consumer confidence data we had, we're starting to see a pattern of weakness emerge," said Kevin Caron, market strategist at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co in New Jersey.

"We saw a lot of artificial involvement by the government to prop up the markets, and now that that is starting to end the private sector isn't yet showing signs of life."

Government employment, which has been one of the factors boosting the economy in the past year, fell by 53,000 in September.

The other big areas of job losses were construction, manufacturing and retail.

Confidence needed

"It shows expectations for recovery may have gotten a little ahead of the reality," said Gary Thayer at Wells Fargo Advisors in Missouri.

"The trend is still improved from earlier this year, but employers need to feel more confident about the economy before they start hiring again."

The US is not alone in seeing rising unemployment, with the 16 nations that use the euro announcing on Thursday that its seasonally adjusted rate rose to 9.6% in August, putting the number of people without a job at 15.2 million.

Earlier on Friday, Japan unexpectedly announced that its jobless rate had fallen to 5.5% in August from July's record high of 5.7%, but the number of people unemployed still hit a six-year high of 3.61 million.

Banks step in as US Dollar tumbles

Banks step in as dollar tumbles
Dollars
The dollar fell to a 14-month low against a basket of currencies

Asian central banks have intervened in the currency markets in an attempt to slow the slide of the US dollar.

Asian countries are worried about their export industries, which would be hurt by a weaker dollar.

Central banks in South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Thailand have been buying the US currency, traders said.

As signs of economic recovery begin to emerge, traders have switched from the traditionally "safe" US dollar to buying other currencies.

A fresh wave of dollar-selling may have led to the banks' intervention.

The dollar fell to a 14-month low against a basket of currencies on Thursday.

Analysts believe that other countries have also intervened.

"It was reported earlier this morning that Russia was one of at least six central banks buying dollars," said Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at the Bank of New York Mellon.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

FDIC Bank Closures June '09

JUNE 09 Bank Closures

Mirae Bank, Los Angeles, California, with approximately $456 million in assets, was closed. Wilshire State Bank, Los Angeles, California, has agreed to assume all deposits (approximately $362 million). (PR-105-2009)

MetroPacific Bank, Irvine, California, with approximately $80 million in assets, was closed. Sunwest Bank, Tustin, California, has agreed to assume all non-brokered deposits (approximately $73 million). (PR-104-2009)

Horizon Bank, Pine City, Minnesota, with approximately $87.6 million in assets, was closed. Stearns Bank N.A., St. Cloud, Minnesota, has agreed to assume all deposits, excluding certain brokered deposits (approximately $69.4 million). (PR-103-2009)

Neighbor Community Bank, Newnan, Georgia, with approximately $221.6 million in assets, was closed. CharterBank, West Point, Georgia, has agreed to assume all deposits (approximately $191.3 million). (PR-102-2009)

Community Bank of West Georgia, Villa Rica, Georgia, with approximately $199.4 million in assets and approximately $182.5 million in deposits was approved for payout by the FDIC Board of Directors. (PR-101-2009)

First National Bank of Anthony, Anthony, Kansas, with approximately $156.9 million in assets, was closed. Bank of Kansas, South Hutchinson, Kansas, has agreed to assume all deposits (approximately $142.5 million). (PR-96-2009)

Cooperative Bank, Wilmington, North Carolina, with approximately $970 million in assets, was closed. First Bank, Troy, North Carolina, has agreed to assume all deposits, excluding certain brokered deposits (approximately $774 million). (PR-95-2009)

Southern Community Bank, Fayetteville, Georgia, with approximately $377 million in assets, was closed. United Community Bank, Blairsville, Georgia, has agreed to assume all deposits (approximately $307 million). (PR-94-2009)

Bank of Lincolnwood, Lincolnwood, Illinois, with approximately $214 million in assets, was closed. Republic Bank of Chicago, Oak Brook, Illinois, has agreed to assume all deposits (approximately $202 million).
(PR-86-2009)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bank Failures - May 1, 2009

The list of Bank Failures and Assistance Transactions is updated May 1, 2009.

America West Bank, Layton, Utah, with approximately $299.4 million in assets, was closed. Cache Valley Bank, Logan, Utah, has agreed to assume all deposits (approximately $284.1 million).
(PR-63-2009)

Citizens Community Bank, Ridgewood, New Jersey, with approximately $45.1 million in assets, was closed. North Jersey Community Bank, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, has agreed to assume all deposits (approximately $43.7 million). (PR-62-2009)

Silverton Bank, N.A., Atlanta, Georgia, with approximately $4.1 billion in assets and $3.3 billion in deposits was closed. The FDIC created a bridge bank, Silverton Bridge Bank, N.A., to take over operations. (PR-61-2009)

http://www.accesstradingmgmt.com/index.html

Friday, April 24, 2009

27 Bank Closures 2009 4months

27 Bank Closures total First Four months 2009

The list of Bank Failures and Assistance Transactions is updated through April 24, 2009.
April 2009

Michigan Heritage Bank, Farmington Hills, Michigan, with approximately $184.6 million in assets, was closed. Level One Bank, Farmington Hills, Michigan, has agreed to assume all deposits, excluding certain brokered deposits (approximately $151.7 million). (PR-58-2009)

American Southern Bank, Kennesaw, Georgia, with approximately $112.3 million in assets and approximately $104.3 in deposits was closed. Bank of North Georgia, Alpharetta, Georgia, has agreed to assume all non-brokered deposits. (PR-57-2009)

Great Basin Bank of Nevada, Elko, Nevada, with approximately $270.9 million in assets, was closed. Nevada State Bank, Las Vegas, Nevada, has agreed to assume all deposits (approximately $241.4 million). (PR-55-2009)

American Sterling Bank, Sugar Creek, Missouri, with approximately $181 million in assets was closed. Metcalf Bank, Lee's Summit, Missouri, has agreed to assume all deposits (approximately $171.9 million). (PR-54-2009)

New Frontier Bank, Greeley, Colorado, with approximately $2.0 billion in assets and approximately $1.5 billion in deposits was closed. Deposit Insurance National Bank of Greeley, Greeley, Colorado has agreed to assume the non-brokered insured deposits. (PR-53-2009)

Cape Fear Bank, Wilmington, North Carolina, with approximately $492 million in assets, was closed. First Federal Savings and Loan Association, Charleston, South Carolina, has agreed to assume all deposits (approximately $403 million). (PR-52-2009)
((http://www.fdic.gov/bank/historical/bank/index.html))

Saturday, February 28, 2009

2 More US bank Failures

Regulators close banks in Illinois, Nevada
By SARA LEPRO, AP Business Writer
Friday, February 27, 2009
(02-27) 17:15 PST New York (AP) --

Regulators on Friday closed Heritage Community Bank in Illinois, and Security Savings Bank in Nevada, marking 16 failures this year of federally insured institutions.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed the receiver of the banks.

Heritage Community Bank, based in Glenwood, Ill., had total assets of $232.9 million and deposits of $218.6 million as of Dec. 5. MB Financial Bank of Chicago agreed to assume all of Heritage's deposits, including those from brokers. All four of Heritage's branches will reopen on Saturday as branches of MB Financial.

Additionally, MB Financial agreed to buy $230.5 million in assets at a discount of $14.5 million. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for a later sale. The FDIC and MB Financial also entered into a loss-sharing agreement in which MB Financial will share in the losses on about $181 million in assets.

Henderson, Nev.-based Security Savings Bank had total assets of about $238.3 million and deposits of $175.2 million as of Dec. 31. Las Vegas-based Bank of Nevada agreed to assume all of the deposits of Security Savings Bank, and purchase $111.3 million in assets. Security Savings' two offices will reopen Monday as Bank of Nevada branches.

The FDIC estimates that the cost to the deposit insurance fund from the closures will be about $100.7 million. Regular deposit accounts are insured up to $250,000.

The agency now expects bank failures will cost its insurance fund around $65 billion through 2013, up from an earlier estimate of $40 billion.

As unemployment rises and home prices fall, loan delinquencies and defaults are expected to keep soaring, which means bank failures are likely to escalate. The FDIC had 252 banks and thrifts on its list of troubled institutions at the end of 2008, up from 171 in the third quarter.

Facing a depleting insurance fund, federal regulators on Friday raised the fees banks pay and levied an emergency premium in a bid to collect $27 billion this year — placing further burden on an already struggling industry.

The law requires the insurance fund to be maintained at a certain minimum level of 1.15 percent of total insured deposits. But it fell below that minimum in mid-2008.

Twenty-five U.S. banks failed last year — including two of the biggest thrifts — more than in the previous five years combined and up from only three failures in 2007.

As a result, the deposit insurance fund dropped to $18.9 billion at Dec. 31 — the lowest level since 1987 — from $52.4 billion at the end of 2007.

President Barack Obama this week outlined a budget that called for spending up to $750 billion more for additional financial industry rescue efforts on top of the $700 billion Congress has already approved. The government also confirmed it will buy preferred shares from banks that can be converted into common shares, and the Treasury Department began to "stress test" the country's biggest banks to determine which might need more capital if the economy eroded further.

On Friday, the government announced plans to increase its stake in beleaguered Citigroup Inc. to as much as 36 percent by converting its preferred stock to common stock. While the conversion will dilute current shareholders' investments, a wider equity base means better protection against future losses.

Still, the news offered little comfort to investors who are worried about the stability of other banks.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Labor Dept Stats - Jobs Data Feb 14

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of U.S. workers continuing to claim jobless benefits notched a fresh record in the second week of February, Labor Department data showed on Thursday, while new claims for aid were the highest since 1982.

The number of people remaining on the benefits roll after drawing an initial week of assistance increased by 114,000 to a 5.112 million in the week ended February 14, the most recent week for which data is available. The so-called continued claims topped every estimate in a Reuters poll of 15 economists, which had a consensus forecast of 5.00 million.

Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits increased to a seasonally adjusted 667,000 in the week ended February 21 from a revised 631,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said. It was the highest reading since October 1982, when claims reached 695,000.

The year-long U.S. recession has savaged the labor market and sent the unemployment rate soaring, with some economists fearing it will pierce 9 percent in 2009 from 7.6 percent in January and mount further next year.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 625,000 new claims versus a previously reported count of 627,000 the week before.

A Labor Department official said there were no special factors impacting the numbers.

The four-week average of new jobless claims, a better gauge of underlying labor trends because it irons out week-to-week volatility, increased to 639,000 from 620,000 the week before. This was also the highest reading since October 1982, when the four-week average was 641,750.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Marc Faber: Economy, Inflation and Markets 12/29



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