Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Failed Banks Pose Test for Regulators

FDIC.transformed as debates in Congress and among economists persist.
Shrunk to 4800 employees from 15,000 during the last period of bank meltdowns in the '90s. Military-scale buildup as it undertakes one of the greatest fire sales of all time. Frantically calling in retirees and holding job fairs, looking to hire as many as 1,500. Budgeted to pay many millions for a small army of contractors to augment perm. staff. “We are trying to be ready for the inevitable.” Workers hourly rate $50-$250. FDIC contends cost is much less than it would have to pay to hire permanently. Blitz may offer lessons for Treasury Dept, struggling with an even more monumental challenge: how to help banks move toxic debt off balance sheets, hoping for risk taking stimulation of US economy.

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