Saturday, January 30, 2010

Friday Failure Follies

Today's Washington Post reports that the FDIC shut down five banks yesterday. The list includes one bank in Washington State. I recall reading almost the same story, including a Washington State bank, last week. I checked the FDIC Failed Bank List and found that I did indeed read that same story last week.

In the process, I discovered that failed bank list pops up prominently in a Google search on "Federal Deposit Insurance Corp", no doubt because the list is prominent on the FDIC home page. I also discovered that bank failure announcements are made on Fridays, which conveniently puts the story into the weekend news cycle where it is easily lost.

As cynical as I am about news management, the timing makes sense. FDIC typically takes over a bank in a near lightning "raid", not something you announce in advance. A Friday take over gives the team a weekend to verify assets and liabilities and to arrange another bank to assume the viable assets. The Friday announcement makes sense. The timing is a just a lucky break.

Expect many more Friday announcements.



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