Date Title Category
December 11, 2006 Richmond Fed's Economic Quarterly Examines Changes in the Size Dynamics of U.S. Banks

Banks are viewed as pillars of local communities, but recently the banking industry has experienced significant consolidation, with many community banks being acquired by larger institutions. Are we headed toward a day when there will be just a few huge banks operating throughout the country? Hubert P. Janicki and Edward S. Prescott examine changes in the size distribution of U.S. banks from the period 1960 to 2005, and find that although the ten largest banks increased their share of the banking industry’s assets from 21 to almost 60 percent during this period, many small and mid-size banks continue to exist and thrive. Janicki and Prescott present the key facts that a theory of bank size distribution should explain and argue that such a theory could be useful in helping us understand future consolidation in the banking industry.

November 17, 2006 Charged by the Market

Deregulation of the electricity industry was supposed to produce competition and deliver reduced retail prices. But in states like Maryland, the benefits of deregulation have been slow to materialize. In the cover story of the fall 2006 issue of Region Focus, Vanessa Sumo explains the economic principles of retail power competition, and why consumers in deregulated states may yet see lower bills.

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