Michigan Banking Summary: Plenty of Room at the Top

December 6, 2018 - 5 min read

As year-end 2018 rapidly approaches, I was looking at the landscape of Michigan’s banks across different asset-size classes. In past monthlies, I have sometimes opined on changes to this landscape, particularly as some of the state’s largest entities like NBD, First of America, Old Kent, Michigan National, etc. were merged out of existence. At the…

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White House: Say It Ain’t So, Jerome!

October 26, 2018 - 6 min read

There has been much commentary of late concerning the Federal Reserve’s perceived independence and the central bank’s ability to enact policy decisions amidst political rhetoric and fears that the current rate-raising campaign by the Fed could inadvertently short-circuit economic growth. In late September, the Fed raised its benchmark rate another 25 basis points, marking the…

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CRE: Prudence is Paramount

September 28, 2018 - 5 min read

Recently two snippets from a well-known banking industry daily publication caught my eye. One simply focused on the number of banks in the United States concentrated in Commercial Real Estate (CRE) loans, while the other was titled “Financial Regulators Clarify Guidance Is Not Regulation.” Both, for me, served to coalesce around a prudent, best-practices approach…

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Seamless Transitions the Order of the Day

August 20, 2018 - 4 min read

Eno to Keene.  Connor to Waldron.  Palmer to Daust.  Mann to Schaible.  Lueth to Bitzer.  Ward to Oldford.  Eichler to Snider.  These are just a few of the management transitions in process across the Michigan banking sector. Some involve the assumption of full CEO responsibilities, while others set the stage by designating the President’s title…

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All Eyes Are On The Yield Curve

July 17, 2018 - 6 min read

This will not be an economic treatise on the current shape of the yield curve, nor on the prognosis nor probability of a recession.  There have been more than enough articles written in recent months (and more surely to come) opining on the continued flattening of the curve as short rates have moved higher with…

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Quarterly Earnings Guidance: Benefit or Burden?

June 20, 2018 - 6 min read

I’m thinking that coming off the Fed meeting last week, the last thing you need or want is to read the 80th-odd treatise on the recent rate hike, and another analyst pontificating on inflation, unemployment, the shape of the yield curve, etc.  Quite simply, the recent increase to the Fed’s benchmark rate, coupled with Chairman…

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Banking Bill 2155: The House Says “Yes”

May 25, 2018 - 4 min read

Recall a couple of months ago that we opined on passage in the Senate of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, or in shorthand, S.2155. While the opportunity to move forward on some key components of regulatory reform coupled with the sense of a more “supportive tone” toward the banking industry coming from…

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Senate Banking Bill 2155. House, It’s Up To You

March 26, 2018 - 4 min read

Candidly, I am not sure if I am more excited about the possibility of some meaningful regulatory relief at the community bank level recently making it through the Senate last week, or the fact that it garnered true bipartisan support at a time when seemingly intransient political polarization seems to be the order of the…

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Fed to Wells: Can You Hear Me Now?

February 20, 2018 - 6 min read

I had anticipated that this month I would simply script a quick overview of the recently released CCAR/DFAST severely adverse economic scenario dynamics. And much like last year (“Do the 2017 CCAR Scenarios Signal Regulatory Focus?”, 2/16/2017), opine on any potential hidden (or overt) messages being sent by the regulators in terms of risk management…

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2018 Kicks Off with a Michigan M&A Bang!

January 18, 2018 - 7 min read

On the evening of January 9, the $1.1 billion Troy-based Crestmark Bank announced plans to merge with a $5 billion operation headquartered in South Dakota. Aside from the geography of the merger partner, such news has become common in our consolidating industry and is typically absorbed by the markets in what has become a somewhat…

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Happy Holidays!

December 21, 2017 - 3 min read

Dear Clients and Friends, As 2017 draws to a close, I wanted to send you a copy of our latest monthly statistical summary for Michigan banks. Clearly, the collective performance of the state’s institutions has been impressive this year, as most currencies rode the wave of expectations coming out of last November’s election…carried that momentum…

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Is Regulatory Relief Finally Within Sight?

November 16, 2017 - 4 min read

In the past few days, the Wall Street Journal has featured articles with headlines including: “Bankers See Shift in Tone” (11/13/17), “Senators Support Rollback of Bank Oversight” (11/14/17), and “Smaller Banks May Now Dream Big” (11/15/17). The following opening lines are from that latest article: “Congress finally looks set to deliver some regulatory relief for…

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