Friday, January 23, 2009

1st Centennial Bank Closes

Another bank has failed. If you check the Bank Closure Map you will see that 1st Centennial Bank of Redlands, California was closed by state regulators today.

Although the Federal Government has tried to use the bailout money to stem the seizure of banks, it looks like that is not going to be enough to hold the dam. Small banks like this one are the canaries in the coal mine.

Look for the floodgates to burst if Citi or Bank of America get nationalized. And, if some reports are to be believed, they are already looking like they are or will be soon.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

First Bank Failures of 2009

The first bank closings of the new year are finally upon us. National Bank of Commerce, an Illinois bank, and Bank of Clark county, a Washington bank, have both been closed by regulators over the weekend.

Considering the state of the economy, the failure activity has been remarkably low. The bank closure map that details the locations of all the bank closings in the US shows that only a few banks have closed each month for the past year.

If you look at the map, you'll notice that a lot of the activity so far is centralized in the upper right hand portion of the map. But, don't be fooled. A LOT of banks are about to go down.

I thought it would happen last year. But, apparently, the dam is still holding. But, it can't last forever. Let's see how the distribution progresses in 2009, especially with what is happening with BoA and Citi right now.

Friday, January 09, 2009

All Your Offshore Accounts Are Belong To US(a)

Finally! At least it's not just my pockets uncle sam is diggin into nowdays. Reuters just published this little gem:

Under pressure from the U.S. tax authorities, Swiss wealth management giant UBS is closing all the offshore accounts of its rich U.S. clients, the New York Times said on Friday.

UBS, which the U.S. authorities says helped wealthy Americans hide cash in offshore bank accounts, will shut about 19,000 offshore accounts, the paper said, quoting unnamed U.S. clients.

A UBS spokesman in Switzerland was not immediately available to comment on the report.

The Swiss bank, one of the hardest-hit in the credit crisis, decided in July last year to stop offering offshore accounts to U.S. citizens after it was targeted by the U.S. tax investigation which challenges Switzerland's famous banking secrecy laws.

As part of the investigation, U.S. authorities indicted UBS's wealth management chief last year.