The vast majority of banks in this country are doing fine. They are, in fact, benefiting from the chaos at banks that are failing. Cato has a post which references a story from the WAPO:
Many smaller banks said they were actually benefiting from the problems on Wall Street. Deposits are flowing in as customers flee riskier investments, and well-qualified borrowers are lining up for loans.
“We collect money from local savers, and we lend it in the local community,” said William Dunkelberg, chairman of Liberty Bell Bank in Cherry Hill, N.J. “We’re doing fine. There are 9,000 financial institutions out there, and most of them are small and most of them are doing fine.”
Dunkelberg, a professor of economics at Temple University and chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business, added that a recent survey of that group’s members found that only 2 percent said getting a bank loan was the great challenge facing their businesses.
I also saw a community banker on CNBC today say something very similar. Her bank was going about the mundane business of collecting deposits and making loans. Too bad the bigger banks didn’t stick to that basic business model.
Tim Lee echoes my article from the other day when he says:
It’s important to remember that “the financial industry” is sprawling and diverse. Some banks are on the verge of collapse. Others appear to be doing just fine. It would be unfair to these more prudent banks (not to mention taxpayers) to bail out their irresponsible competitors. And it’s a mistake to assume that, simply because a few reckless Manhattan firms have fallen, the entire financial industry is on the verge of collapse. It may be that these are simply firms that made too many bad investments, in which case their bankruptcy is precisely what is supposed to happen in a free market. Any Congressional action should be focused on preserving the health of the financial system as a whole, not at preventing the bankruptcy of individual firms that made bad investments.
Doesn’t it make sense to support the banks that have done the right thing rather than the ones that have done the wrong thing?