Tuesday, November 25, 2008

SMALL BANKS ANGRY WITH BAILOUT

ABC News - Wall Street might have been happy with the government's latest multibillion-dollar banking intervention, but many small community banks are asking for equal treatment. main street vs big city banks Some small banks feel the government is ignoring them in favor of big banks.

"I guess appalled is not too strong a word," Cindy Blankenship said to describe her feeling after learning of the government's help for Citigroup. Blankenship and her husband founded the Bank of the West back in 1986. The bank, based in Grapevine, Texas, has since grown to eight locations in Northern Texas and has about $280 million in assets.. . .

"We're sitting there taking deposits, making loans, operating on a very conservative and prudent basic banking business model," Blankenship said. "We simply could not do what the big banks have done."

Blankenship and other small bank owners are upset that the executives leading Citi and other banks are getting help but not being held personally responsible. In small banks, she said, all the key decision makers have a large financial stake in the bank. If it goes broke, they lose their own investment.

"We haven't committed these sins but yet, our reputation is tarnished and yet, we still aren't too big to fail," she said. "We're the good guys and I'm furious about it. There is no equal treatment. I'm not too big to fail. If I had gone out and done what the big banks did, I would have been shut down."

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