[Update January 11, 2008 – Russell Grantham of the AJC has an article on the same subject in today’s edition, entititled Georgia Banks’ Problems ‘Alarming,’ Data Show.]
Joe Rauch of the Atlanta Business Chronicle has an article in the current edition entitled Bank Failures Could Reach One A Week.
2008 ranked as one of the worst years for Georgia banking since the Great Depression. 2009 may become the worst ever. Bankers, industry experts and insiders are already projecting the new year will be a watershed for banks throughout metro Atlanta and Georgia, potentially setting a new record for the number of banks seized within the state in a calendar year.
There have been five failures in the last five months, a rate not seen in decades.
An informal survey of bankers, attorneys and analysts shows they generally expect that this year no less than 15 banks will fail in Georgia. That would be more than double the previous records, when seven banks were seized in both 1989 and 1991 during the height of the Savings and Loan Crisis.
Estimates vary from as few as 15 to as many as 50 bank failures — or about one a week on average —in Georgia this year. The bulk of any failures, industry insiders said, will be among metro Atlanta banks, which led the charge in new bank creation earlier this decade…
The collapse was so dramatic, and concentrated in metro Atlanta, that national observers are already calling the city the epicenter for U.S. bank failures….