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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Is “Too Big to Fail” Evolving Into “Too Small to Succeed”?

September 20, 2017 - 4 min read

Coming out of the financial crisis so much attention, politically and economically, seemed to be focused on chants of “break up” the big banks. Irrespective of one’s view on the rationale of such a move — would global competitiveness potentially be exchanged for political expediency? Hadn’t some of the largest traditional commercial banks, such as…

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Where Have You Gone George “De Novo” Bailey?

June 16, 2017 - 5 min read

Where have you gone George “De Novo” Bailey? Or, maybe more appropriately with regard to the Michigan community banking space, when (if ever) does the next Bill Broucek-like banker emerge on the scene? I’ve commented in past months about both the challenges (operational,regulatory and competitive) facing community bankers and the dearth of traditional de novo…

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There has to be a Better Way

May 24, 2017 - 4 min read

The Dodd-Frank Act became public law in the 111th Congress nearly seven years ago. Its objective, as the country moved through the Financial Crisis and the devastating effects of the Great Recession, was primarily four-fold: -Promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system -End “Too Big…

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Has March Madness Led to April Anxiety?

April 12, 2017 - 4 min read

A few months back, coming off the results of the Presidential election, we opined on the seemingly rocket-fueled rally in bank stocks. At the time, we posited the following as probable/potential catalysts underpinning the significant positive move in the sector: Meaningful tax reform – might rates drop from approximately 35% to 25% or lower? Pro-growth…

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