Dian's Column
Dian's Archive


Bank Robbing

By Dian Vujovich

Okay. By now we know that the infamous Willie Sutton didn’t really admit to saying he robbed banks “because that’s where the money is.” But word is he did say, “Go where the money is…and go there often.”

This 20th century sort of good-guy gangster and robber of more than 100 banks loved robbing them. He got a rush from it and admits that he never felt more alive than when he was in a bank. Don’t we all.

But if Sutton were around today chances are he’d have to get his highs elsewhere and change professions. Banks just aren’t what they used to be.

Aside from all the surveillance cameras, high-tech this and that simply finding a bank with plenty of cash can be dicey. And the best ones, as in those with the most assets, aren’t necessarily in the United States.

According to the FDIC, in the US, 37 banks have failed this year. That’s up from 25 in 2008. Washington Mutual (WaMu) the largest failure in our history.

Florida, as you might guess, was home to two of them: Riverside Bank of the Gulf Coast in Cape Coral. It closed on Feb. 13, with assets of $539 million with a cost to the FDIC of $201.5 million. And BankUnited FSB in Coral Gables. Assets totaled $12.8 billion when it closed on May 21. Cost to FDIC: $4.9 billion.

So where is the real money? According to a CNBC.com report (http://www.cnbc.com/id/31517187), the strongest banks on the planet include JPMorgan, China Construction Bank, Santander Bank of China, BBVA, HSBC and Barclays.

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

[ top ]