Yesterday, I compared the number of bankruptcy filings under the Bush and Obama administrations. Because of a significant change in bankruptcy law in 2005, I concluded that it would be very difficult to do an adequate apples-to-apples comparison.
Today, I decided to look at the number of banking institutions that failed under each administration. I also examined the total amount of failed assets.
Large Banking Institutions Failed Under Bush
A total of 57 banks with $381 billion of assets failed during the Bush Administration. Before 2008, 32 institutions accounting for ~$9 billion in assets failed. In 2008, 25 institutions accounting for $372 billion failed. In essence, the average bank that failed before 2008, had ~$276 million of assets. During 2008, the average failed bank had ~$15 billion in assets.
The bottom line is that before the 2008 financial crisis, it was primarily small banks that failed. In 2008, large, global investment banks like Lehman and Bear Stearns collapsed.
Medium-Sized Banking Institutions Are Failing Under Obama
As of March 2011, a total of 323 banks with ~$272 billion of assets have failed during the Obama Administration. The average bank that failed after 2008 had ~$841 million of assets.
While nearly 6x as many banking institutions have failed to-date under Obama than under Bush, the total value of failed assets under Bush was ~$100 billion larger.