Archive for August, 2009

More on the Historic Size of the Bank Crisis

August 26, 2009

The ratio of failed bank assets to GDP is much larger (seven-fold) than the Great Depression and has an even greater magnitude compared to the S&L crisis. This follow-up to the article below was discussed at


Banking Crisis Dwarfs the Great Depression

August 24, 2009

Even when adjusted for inflation and population growth, the 2008-09 banking crisis exceeds by far previous banking crises, including even the Great Depression. There were 10,000 bank failures in the Great Depression, but few of them had branches. Today, a medium sized bank usually has hundreds of branches and the two big failures, Washington Mutual and Wachovia Bank had more than 8,000 branches between them. Thus the number of actual bank locations affected in the current crisis, which is not over, is similar to the entire period of the Great Depression from 1929 to 1941.

When it comes to the amount of money involved, the current crisis has had bank failures 70 times those of the Great Depression. Even when the figures are adjusted for inflation and population growth, the current crisis is still much larger in dollar terms.

Read the entire analysis at The numbers are truly astounding.