25 things vanishing in America, part 2: Community banks


Heritage Community Bank, Glenwood, Illinois.
Silver Falls Bank, Silverton, Oregon.
Sherman County Bank
, Loup City, Nebraska.
Columbia Community Bank, Hillsboro, Oregon.

The names of small community banks either closed by the FDIC, or struggling, reads on like a somber trip down the memories of a bucolic past. With our economic crisis, will we lose the small community banks that are so much a part of our heritage, their very names reflect it?

In all appearances, the rumors of community banks' downfall have been exaggerated. While some small banks are less well-capitalized and, thus, more susceptible to risky loans or a run on the bank, it appears that community banks weathered the storm on Wall Street simply by being far from it -- and by the very lack of sophistication the quants at big banks have been ridiculing for a decade or more. Yep. Perhaps not understanding complicated hedge fund principles was their savior.