Monday, July 14, 2008

Graph: Bank Failures Per Year

An interesting graph from Calculated Risk: bank failures per year.

It's interesting how the 1980s dwarfed even the Great Depression. And today? Barely a blip.


  1. Given that interstate and multi-branch banking was non-existent in the 30s and that that trend had just begun in the 80s, is this a meaningful comparison. Wouldn't it be better to illustrate the relative level of assets involved per year (in real dollars) or the relative size of the institutions involved?


  2. I agree, not a good comparison. The banks that are failing today have many times more wealth than the S&Ls that failed in 1988-1992. Nouriel Roubini was talking about this on Bloomberg today.

  3. This graph is wrong. Over 47 banks collapsed in 2008 alone. click here to see

  4. Graph was made in July. Many failures were in the 4th quarter.

  5. Graph looks correct to me.
    The NY Times link posted was published on May 27, 1986
    47 banks had failed by then in 1986,
    with the final total for 1986 over 300.

    25 banks failed in 2008.
    Official FDIC List

  6. goldsheet (Bob) said...
    "The NY Times link posted was published on May 27, 1986"

    Ha! Good catch, Bob. Anonymous was using a 22 year old NY Times article to cite the number of bank failures last year. That's pretty funny!

  7. If this is a chart of FDIC bank failures, then it completely misses the large number of banks closed during FDR's "bank holiday", as this was prior to the existence of the FDIC. The bulge in the 1930's shown in this chart merely represents the crumbs from that dust-up.

  8. 4,000 banks failed in the first few months of 1933, conveniently missing from your graph?

  9. I think the data comes from the FDIC which began operation on January 1, 1934.