Nobody Thought It Would Be Us

When a Texas bank goes belly-up, the Feds swoop down fast

It was the largest of the 69 U.S. banks that have failed this year. The collapse of Unitedbank-Houston (assets: $218 million) showed once again how shaky some parts of the American financial system are, especially in the depressed oil patch. When officials from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation shut down the bank last week, TIME Correspondent Richard Woodbury went along to see how such an operation is carried out. As it happened, the drama had an unexpected denouement. His report:

Reeling from bad loans and famished for new capital, Unitedbank was a prime candidate for closure. Still, when an army of...

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