Sunday, July 19, 2009

FDIC Bank Failures: Update

by Calculated Risk on 7/19/2009 12:19:00 PM

The FDIC closed four more banks on Friday, and the following graph shows bank failures by week for 2009.

FDIC Bank Failures Click on graph for larger image in new window.

So far there have been 57 FDIC bank failures in 2009.

It appears there will be close to 100 bank failures this year.

Note: Week 1 ends Jan 9th.

This is nothing compared to the S&L crisis. There were 28 weeks during the S&L crisis when regulators closed 10 or more banks, and the peak was April 20, 1989 with 60 bank closures (there were 7 separate weeks with more than 30 closures in the late '80s and early '90s).

The second graph covers the entire FDIC period (annually since 1934).

FDIC Bank Failures Back in the '80s, there was some minor multiple counting ... as an example, when First City of Texas failed on Oct 30, 1992 there were 18 different banks closed by the FDIC. This multiple counting was minor, and there were far more bank failures in the late '80s and early '90s than this year.

The third graph includes the 1920s and shows that failures during the S&L crisis were far less than during the '20s and early '30s (before the FDIC was enacted).

pre-FDIC Bank Failures Note how small the S&L crisis appears on this graph with the change in they-axis! The number of bank failures soared to 4000 (estimated) in 1933.

During the Roaring '20s, 500 bank failures per year was common - even with a booming economy - with depositors typically losing 30% to 40% of their bank deposits in the failed institutions. No wonder even the rumor of a problem caused a run on the bank!

Of course the number of banks isn't the only measure. Many banks today have more branches, and far more assets and deposits.

The FDIC era source data is here - including by assets (in most cases) - under Failures and Assistance Transactions

The pre-FDIC data is here.