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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, February 20, 2010

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Regulators shut down banks in four states


Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Boeing Co. said it is sending out layoff notices to more than 1,000 workers, mostly in Washington state and California.

AP FILE PHOTO | Feb. 8, 2010

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WASHINGTON Regulators shut four banks from California to Florida yesterday, boosting to 20 the number of U.S. bank failures this year following the 140 closures last year in the worst financial climate in decades.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over La Jolla Bank, FSB, in La Jolla, Calif. The bank had 10 branches and about $3.6 billion in assets and $2.8 billion in deposits.

Also seized was George Washington Savings Bank in Orland Park, Ill. It had four branches and about $412.8 million in assets and $397 million in deposits.

The other seized banks were smaller ones in Florida and Texas.

As the economy has weakened, with unemployment rising, home prices tumbling and loan defaults soaring, bank failures have accelerated and sapped billions of dollars out of the federal deposit insurance fund. The FDIC expects the cost of resolving failed banks to grow to about $100 billion over the next four years.

GE REPORTS 6% DROP IN JOBS DURING 2009

General Electric's overall work force fell by about 6 percent worldwide in 2009 as it struggled to deal with the effects of the deep recession and financial crisis, according to a company regulatory filing yesterday.

GE's annual report shows the industrial and financial heavyweight reduced its overall employee head count by about 19,000 jobs to 304,000 workers. It's the second year in a row that jobs have fallen at one of the world's largest companies after several years of job growth.

Excluding 16,000 jobs that came on the company's rolls last year when it took a majority stake in a Central American bank, GE's work force fell by 35,000. That was much larger than the 4,000 drop in jobs in 2008, the year that GE first began to feel the effects of the global downturn.

GE spokeswoman Anne Eisele said layoffs accounted for less than half of the change. Many jobs were left vacant after retirements or voluntary separations.