No one should imagine the United States is over the hump when it comes to bank failures. Various official counts and unofficial lists of problem banks were revised this week, and by anyone’s measure, it seems, the number of problem banks continues to grow.
There was a failure of a bank in Seattle that specialized in its connections to East Asia, but the problems of the bank were strictly local. Washington First International Bank, based in Seattle, took losses in ill-advised real estate schemes in coastal Washington, including loans of its own making and lending programs led by other banks.
California-based East West Bank paid a 0.5 percent premium for the $441 million in deposits and is also acquiring 96 percent of the assets.