By Daniel Gross
One of the big themes of the economy over the last year and a half has been a decline in both the rate and volume of financial failure. Mortgage and credit card delinquencies and corporate and personal bankruptcies have all been trending down. So, too, have bank failures. In fact, our once-weekly Failure Friday feature, which charts the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's Friday-evening takeovers of failed banks, may have to be downgraded to Failure Every-Other-Friday. (Here's the complete failed bank list.)
Last Friday, after a week of no failures, two banks failed.
Covenant Bank and Trust, a two-branch bank based in Rock Spring, Georgia, with $95 million in assets, failed and was taken over by Stearns Banks of St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Premier Bank, a two-branch bank in Wilmette, Illinois, with $269 millioni in assets, failed and was taken over by International Bank of Chicago.
So in the first twelve weeks of 2012, 15 banks with a combined $4.2 billion in assets have failed. That's relatively high by historical standards. But compared to last year, both the number and size of the typical failed bank have fallen. In the first twelve weeks of 2011, 26 banks with a combined $10 billion in assets failed.
Daniel Gross is economics editor at Yahoo! Finance
Follow him on Twitter @grossdm; email him at email@example.com