Strongest & Weakest US Banks and Thrifts

Interesting report from Weiss Research:

The “X” List Report

It contains an extensive list of the strongest and weakest banks and thrifts in the United States. Compiled from FDIC’s Call Reports and OTS’ Thrift Financial Reports:  All U.S. commercial banks, savings banks, S&Ls and other thrifts with total assets of $500 million or more and with a rating of B+ or higher.   

The full report contains about 5 pages of strong banks, 5 pages of weak banks.

Here are the weakest big US banks (i.e., the ones most likely to cost taxpayers some money).




Lastly, U.S. Brokers with their capital multiples:



Thanks, Laura!

The "X" List: The Next Big Failures (Transcript Part I) 
Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D.   
Money & Markets, 08-11-08

The “X” List Report

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Hal commented on Aug 18

    my problem with the data is that it relies on reported financials –(thus little things like level 3 assets)

    so the analysis can only head south from here -not better

  2. Philippe commented on Aug 18

    The above thread is supplementing financial details on few banks. It has only one weakness as it does not incorporate the profits made by the banks on their own bonds issuance (market price versus issuance price)
    In a rosy scenario it may happen to many banks that an improvement of their financial health would require a correlative loss to be booked in their bonds prices (price increase) and to be charged on their P/L.

    As a guide here is a user friendly reading of a Bloomberg article

    Ambac profits Its own Bonds.htmAug. 6 (Bloomberg) —
    Ambac Financial Group Inc., the bond insurer that lost 92 percent of its stock market value in the past year, posted second-quarter net income after using an accounting change to record a $5.2 billion gain related to its debt securities.

  3. Ryan commented on Aug 18

    Whats a Capital Multiple? What does that mean? A little explanation would be nice.

  4. bob commented on Aug 18

    I don’t even see Citibank in this report, yet you highlight it as the first bank???????


    BRThe chart is from their website — I’ll add the link above

  5. Andy commented on Aug 18

    These reports are backward looking and really no one knows the liabilities these institutions have, so no matter home much capital they could collapse.

  6. Stuart commented on Aug 18

    The above quote that this analysis depends upon reported financials is key. We all know they are shuffling garbage off to L3 categorization. Garbage in, garbage out at work here big time with this analysis. These figures then can be interpreted as absolute Alice in Wonderland fantasy. Real conditions are much much worse. Just take a look at WAMU’s books. In fact anybody else with large unsecured HELOC positions still booked at fully recoverable… hell, they’d make Enron blush.

  7. Mark E Hoffer commented on Aug 18

    for all the talk of Mortgages, of whatever stripe, going bad, I find it interesting that noone covers the mechanics of the instrument itself.

    BR, what say ye?

  8. Jon H commented on Aug 18

    An indication of how to read the tables would be handy: which end is worse?

    Andy wrote: “These reports are backward looking and really no one knows the liabilities these institutions have, so no matter home much capital they could collapse.”

    True, but their ordering relative to each other is probably in the ballpark of being correct.

  9. AZ commented on Aug 18

    “These reports are backward looking and really no one knows the liabilities these institutions have, so no matter home much capital they could collapse.”

    The reports will need to be updated when the FDIC releases Q2 data next week. Perhaps more important when the ratios is the trend of the ratios across 2007Q4, 2008Q1, and 2008Q2

  10. Aiden commented on Aug 19

    Usually I am impressed by the quality and quantity of data presented here, but this piece is really off base. I think that it is funny that Wachovia’s Delaware subsidiary appears on the strongest list. If that is the case why did they raise so much equity after these reports were filed with the FDIC. The other offensive thing is that this list (I assume) does not take into account regional differences or product diversity, making the list useless for anyone who wants to actually know about the health of the bank that they bank or own shares in.

  11. Ryan commented on Aug 19

    I think that the listing here on MS is inaccurate. Their capital multiple should be much higher according to my reading of their financial statements.

    Maybe, this multiple doesn’t include stuff on level 3.

  12. Johnny Boy commented on Aug 19

    I think that – and somebody please correct me if I’m wrong – that Wachovia’s credit card division (“bank”) is headquartered in Wilmington, along with the operations centers of Barclays Bank USA (Barnes & Noble credit cards), among others.

    Different accounting rules apply to unsecured credit, so they _theoretically_ could be seen more favorably as a “safer” bank than others.

    I don’t know how many arm’s-length banks have subsidiaries in usury-friendly states which fall somewhere in between the best and worst banks. My guess is quite a lot. Check “banks” in for the state of Delaware or use and use the right SIC code to find out.

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