Community banks may seem like quaint relics to those who prefer banking online, but IndyMac's meltdown should have us thinking differently, Ron Lieber writes in the New York Times. Lieber visited a bank in small-town Maryland, and found a friendly, gray-haired manager who gives banking a personal touch. “If you miss a beat, I’ll call your mother,” he jokes—sort of.
With financial desperation in the air, Lieber sees the point. “Surely, there must be some worth in working with someone nearby,” he writes, “who tries to make prudent loans within the community, someone who can bend the rules to get you out of trouble or keep you from making a mess of your finances in the first place. Shouldn’t local bankers be shouting this from the rooftops right about now?”