WSJ's Take on Charlotte
In case you missed it, here's the link to the big Wall Street Journal story on Charlotte , "A Tale of One City, Two Troubled Banks." I'm not sure if it's available to non-subscribers, but in any event, here's a taste:
Whatever happens, Wachovia, once the fifth-largest U.S. bank and now sixth, has been passed in market value by U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis — a company far smaller in assets. Bank of America no longer has sole claim on the title of biggest U.S. bank by market value, as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., also smaller by assets, has matched its total market valuation of about $130 billion.
It has been a setback for a city that transformed itself in the past generation from a sleepy railroad and mill town. "They thought we ran around barefoot with dirt-floor houses around here," said Jerry Orr, administrator of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Charlotte became a banking powerhouse on the strengths of two rivals — NCNB Corp., the predecessor of Bank of America, and First Union Corp., predecessor of Wachovia. Over two decades of deal making, both emerged as national banks, and Charlotte became a radically different place. "We like for the folks in Texas to have to come to Charlotte to get their loans approved," said Tony Crumbley of the Charlotte Chamber.