Problem Banks in 2008 Are Nowhere Close to 1990-91

Includes: SPY, XLF
by: Mark J. Perry

The FDIC recently released data through the fourth quarter 2008 on the number of "problem institutions," and the assets of those problem banks. The chart above shows that there were 252 problem banks in 2008, out of a total of about 8,300 banks. In contrast, there were almost 1,500 problem banks in 1990, or about 6 times the number in 2008.

The chart below shows the inflation-adjusted value of bank assets at problem banks from 1990-2008. Compared to the $156 billion of problem bank assets in 2008, there were more than 8 times that amount in 1991 ($1,298 billion).