Buddy, Can You Spare a Billion?

Texas bank woes mount

In Texas, troubled banks are becoming almost as common as tumbleweed. Last week Dallas-based First RepublicBank, the state's largest bank holding company (assets: $33.2 billion), skidded to the brink of failure and was forced to go, ten-gallon hat in hand, to the U.S. Government. Within two days the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation advanced $1 billion to keep First RepublicBank's 73-member banks in business. At the same time, Houston's ailing First City Bancorp, the fourth largest banking company in the state, reported that its plan for returning to financial health was in jeopardy. The problems encountered by both companies dramatized once again...

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