Economy Watch: Bank Failures Sluggish in ’14

Over the weekend, the FDIC closed its 14th failed bank of 2014, Greenchoice Bank in Chicago.

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Over the weekend, the FDIC closed its 14th failed bank of 2014, Greenchoice Bank in Chicago. It was a smallish failure; GreenChoice Bank had about $72.9 million in total assets and $71 million in total deposits, which have been folded into Providence Bank, a suburban Chicago bank.

Last year, the FDIC closed U.S. 24 banks all together, so at the current pace, about that many banks will fail in 2014 as in ’13, both relatively small totals compared with the worst years of the recession. In 2009, for instance, the total number was 140, while in 2010, some 157 banks failed.

The size of the failures is also shrinking. WaMu—with its $307 billion in assets—made history by failing in a very big way in 2008, and other multibillion-dollar banks likewise failed in the years that followed. So far this year, the largest bank to fail (in terms of assets) has been Valley Bank of Moline, Ill., with $456.4 million in assets. The last billion-dollar-plus bank to fail (again, in assets) was one in Texas in September of last year.

Durable goods orders bounce back

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported on Friday that durable goods orders were up 0.7 percent in June, which represented a rebound from the decline of 1 percent month-over-month in May. The uptick was fairly broad-based, since without transportation equipment orders—which often yo-yo around, skewing the numbers —ew orders increased 0.8 percent.

This time around, orders for machinery led the overall increase, rising 2.4 percent for the month. That was a distinct rebound, since machinery orders dropped during both May and April. Transportation orders did, however, go up by 0.6 percent for June, following a drop of 2.8 percent in May.

Businesses bulked up their inventories of durable goods as well during June, increasing them 0.4 percent for the month. In the case of durable goods inventories, transportation equipment led the increase, rising 0.7 percent for the month.

Wall Street had a down day on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average off 123.23 points, or 0.72 percent. The S&P 500 declined 0.48 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.5 percent; in the case of the S&P 500, the drop backed away from the record highs it set on most of the trading days during the week.

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