It’s mattress time!

Regulators on Friday shut down banks in Georgia, Colorado and Kansas, marking 20 failures of federally insured banks this year. More are expected to succumb to the prolonged recession.” Two of those closed last night were credit unions.

The bank that failed in Georgia is in Stockbridge, just south of Atlanta and about 80 miles from here. Not that distance matters in this increasingly global neighborhood of finance and bankruptcy. But what is troublesome is that this is the 8th bank to have failed in Georgia since last August, when the recession began manifesting in visible and persistent forms. No other state has had as many banks fail. The next closest is California with six, and their economy is in much worse shape than Georgia’s. So why so many Georgia bank failures?

I don’t know. Maybe someone with a more acute economic mind will know. However, it does prompt one to check out the soundness of my own banking institution. You can check at the Bankrate Safe and Sound website for objective ratings of banks, thrifts, and credit unions, by state, institution name, asset size, or zip code. BB&T, First Madison, and Merchants and Farmers are the banks in this county (with many more choices, of course, in the nearby city of Athens). The first two have earned a rating of three out of five stars, and the third, earned four out of five.

Check out your banking institution…and if you don’t like what you see, you can always do what Obama said not to: put ever inflated dollars under your mattress.

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