Thursday, June 01, 2006

DECLINE OF BANKERS AS CIVIC LEADERS -- "The numbers tell part of the story: there are now about 7,600 commercial banks in the United States, down from 13,000 in 1980. But this decline, as big as it is, underestimates the impact on civic leadership, since the consolidations have been greatest among the larger banks that once led their communities. Today, the top three banks in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Washington and scores of other cities are owned by companies headquartered elsewhere. (In New Orleans, only one of the top three is owned locally.) Even Mr. Powell's old bank, First National of Amarillo, was bought in the 1990's, first by Boatsmen's Bancshares, then by NationsBank (now Bank of America)."