Bank City USA

Here’s a financial trivia question: What does Tupelo, Miss., have that some of America’s largest metro areas, including Atlanta, Phoenix and San Diego, don’t? The answer: at least two midsize or larger banks headquartered there. Tupelo—a town located in the gently rolling hills halfway between Memphis, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala., and with a population a little shy of 40,000—is the smallest U.S. city to have … Continue reading Bank City USA

Demographic Destiny for Community Banks?

In their best-selling mid-20th century books of U.S. electoral politics, analysts Richard Scammon and Ben Wattenberg were fond of saying that “demography is destiny.” The same is true in the community banking sector.

As populations age in rural areas and shift from suburbia and the country to big cities—and as the baby boomers give way in the workforce to millennials—demographic changes will be felt keenly by community bankers. During a recent roundtable discussion with four top community bank executives, strategies for navigating these changes came to the fore. Continue reading “Demographic Destiny for Community Banks?”

Don’t Know Much About Geography

Where in the world has geography gone? Last year, Miss Teen South Carolina became a national laughingstock for her halting and confused answer to a question about why roughly one-fifth of Americans cannot locate their own country on a map—but who are we to mock? Indeed, many Americans don’t recognize important countries on maps. According to a 2006 survey of Americans aged 18 to 24, less than four in ten can identify Iraq on a map of the Middle East; one-third of young Americans cannot calculate time-zone differences; even after Hurricane Katrina, two-thirds cannot find Louisiana on a U.S. map; almost one-third think that the United States has between 1 and 2 billion citizens; and two in ten, amazingly, cannot point to the Pacific Ocean on a world map.

Offering the counterexample to these sad statistics are the 55 talented youngsters competing this week in the 20th annual National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C. Continue reading “Don’t Know Much About Geography”