While some details get lost, the WSJ does give us some new ones on the bank and offers several pieces of nice context. Like:
Nationwide, nearly three dozen small and midsize banks have failed this year. Another 80 are under pressure to raise more capital. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner recently announced that he intends to extend bailout funds to more community banks. He will have significant sums at his disposal, given last week’s announcement that financial giants such as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley plan to return billions in bailout money to the Treasury. But some industry advocates say small banks need more than cash handouts. Many community bankers say regulators are pressing them to write down the value of certain assets, such as construction loans. That pressure applies to all banks — part of an effort to ensure financial balance sheets are realistic — but small banks feel the impact more keenly because their loan portfolios tend to be less diversified. The American Bankers Association says it will raise the issue at an upcoming meeting with Treasury officials.
The Journal also offered a slideshow on the bank and local community. And if you doubt whether the issues raised by New Frontier’s failure are important well beyond the borders of Colorado, just look at the WSJ’s forum on the piece.
We don’t agree with a lot of the comments—and many of the commenters would have benefited from a look at the Post and Tribune coverage—but they hit important topics, like the roles of community banks, regulators, and borrowers in the US banking system.
These days, readers can reach in and pull up coverage from remote (for us) places like Greeley. That you can do it for free may be bizarre, but that’s a story for another day. For our purposes, the New Frontier story shows that if you want fine-grain and urgent business reporting, as well as the 30,000-foot-view, as long as you can drill down, you should.