Here are two views of the pace of bank failures year to date. Banks have failed so far this year at an average daily cumulative pace of about .527 banks per day. It appears that the main pacing factor for the number of bank failures is simply the capacity of the FDIC undertaking squad to go bury them.
However, the good news is, it appears that there is some reason to believe that the average cost to the insurance fund is going to go down. Sheila Bair hailed the April 30 takedown of several large Puerto Rico banks as a milestone in the bank resolution process, and it is easy to see from the DIF chart why she might have said that. The banks that failed that week cost the fund $7 billion!
We will probably end 2010 with about 180 banks failed, from 78 as of May 28, 2010. Then, based on the number of banks still on the troubled list, this pace of bank failures will probably continue for at least the first quarter of 2011. Then, barring a double dip recession, which, actually, I think will transpire, the rate of bank failures would return to normal.
But that’s a big caveat. I DO expect a double dip, and I DO expect euro zone disasters, and I DO expect further commercial real estate calamities.