What became of the biggest players

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Federal Reserve did not prepare some large banking companies to weather the financial crisis. The 10 largest U.S. retail banking companies on the eve of the financial crisis:

1. Citigroup -- The Fed let it gamble beyond its means, allowing the company to circumvent basic regulations requiring banks to hold capital reserves against unexpected losses.

2. Bank of America -- Needed more than $45 billion in federal aid.

3. J.P. Morgan Chase -- Among the healthiest large banks.

4. Wachovia -- The Fed's board unanimously approved Wachovia's 2006 application to buy Golden West, a mortgage lender deeply engaged in high-risk lending.

5. Wells Fargo -- Just a few bumps and bruises.

6. U.S. Bancorp -- Perhaps the healthiest large bank.

7. SunTrust Bank -- Hasn't made a profit since crisis began.

8. Capital One Financial -- Strong enough to buy Chevy Chase Bank.

9. National City -- Fed officials repeatedly gave the company clean bills of health even as losses on its vast portfolio of subprime loans started to pile up.

10. Regions Financial -- Mired in real estate lending losses.

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