I have really been avoiding financials for the last few months after they had their dead cat bounces. However, I had to listen to MidSouth Bank CEO Rusty Cloutier when he spoke on CNBC. His 24 branch bank, with a market cap of only $103 million, is based in Lafayette, LA, one of my old stomping grounds, and home of the world’s greatest étouffée and shrimp gumbo. He says that “Unless we break up the big banks and get back to sound banking principles we are going to relive this over and over again….Free enterprise has to have the right to fail….Allan Greenspan and his administration have some problems they have to ‘fess up to.” With the current system of megabanks “They get the gain and we get the pain….I’m regulated now by 13 agencies of the US government and I don’t know that I need a 14th.” Regional Banks have really been taking it on the kisser this year, with 99 going under, four times the previous year’s rate. The FDIC has turned into an effective stealth undertaker, checking into local motels under assumed names, marching in at the Friday afternoon close with court orders in hand, and selling assets at fire sale prices to a healthy competitor by Monday morning. None of the government owned banks have been targeted by the federal agency yet. There’s no one who can read you a riot act like a Southern regional banker.