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Financial crisis strikes small community banks

An investigation by Jake Bernstein and A.C. Thompson of ProPublica explores how small community banks around the country are failing after years of profiting off commercial real estate and development loans.  Silver State Bank of Nevada was closed by the FDIC in September.  "The bank made its biggest bets not on home mortgages, but on loans to developers across Nevada and Arizona. Its demise highlights an aspect of the financial crisis that's been overshadowed by the crash of Wall Street and its megabanks: how small banks are suffering from a wave of defaults on construction and development loans that could cause dozens more to succumb in the year ahead...In a worst-case scenario, the FDIC insurance fund, which stood at $34.6 billion in the third quarter of 2008, could run out and require a taxpayer bailout."

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