Visualising US bank failures

The US has a lot of banks. Like, weirdly stupid numbers of them. And if you’re reading this it probably won’t have escaped your notice that some of them have been going through a tough time.

Bank failures this year seem suspiciously Californian, so I thought it would be good to have a look at whether US banking more generally is Californian.

It isn’t. But along the way, so much fun was had creating geospatial data visualisations that it seemed a shame not to share them.

The interactive map below shows the location of every FDIC-insured bank, except the Federated Bank of *checks notes* Micronesia, sized by December 2022 assets. As you can see, pretty East Coast-heavy.

Bank failures since 2000 have been pretty geographically dispersed, although maybe somewhat East Coast-lite:

This final dataviz animates bank failures in the style of the great 1980s Matthew Broderick nuclear hacking flick War Games. I think you’ll agree this is pretty cool, if you like this sort of thing.

The abruptness and size of the Silicon Valley Bank, Signature and First Republic failures really pops out here. It will be interesting to see if this will fizzle out now, or continue to fester.

From across the pond the very notion that a bank might fail can invoke panic. But as well as an unreasonable numbers of banks, the US has seriously enviable expertise in bank resolution.

Without drama, this has transformed banks that have shut broken on a Friday into a bank that opens functioning on a Monday without skipping a beat. Literally hundreds of times. Chapeau FDIC staffers!

Further reading:

The bank job

The US is not “overbanked”


Business Asia
the authorBusiness Asia

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