« The lender of last resort | Main | The Great Depression as a benchmark »

October 15, 2008

A silver lining

It's hard to see anything good coming out of the recent turmoil on Wall Street and among banks. But sometimes, it's good to look. In the middle of all the monetary trials and turmoil, you have found something good, at least for North Carolina. What is it?

Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds:

"Well, many people, I think, realize that North Carolina has become a center for the financial services industry, particularly in Charlotte. We have two major nationwide banks headquartered in Charlotte. Those banks were among the first to expand when nationwide banking was allowed. And really, Charlotte is now the second largest financial center in the country, second only to New York. It's the 10th largest in the world. And what happened - one of the things that happened that people know about amongst all this financial turmoil - is that the Bank of America, which is one of those large banks headquartered in Charlotte, purchased Merrill-Lynch, a large brokerage firm. And so I think what this is going to do is further solidify and, indeed, enhance Charlotte's reputation and status as a financial services center. And I think this will not only add to Charlotte's prominence, I think it will also help North Carolina as a state. North Carolina business recruiters can now go out and say that even more so than in the past, North Carolina is a financial services state. And really you can think of financial services in the North Carolina economy today and say that it's like tobacco was for the North Carolina economy in the 20th century. So the fact that our state was able to gain something out of this mess I think could be viewed as a silver lining."

Posted by Dave at October 15, 2008 08:00 AM