The South Financial Group reported a loss of $111.5 million Tuesday, marking the sixth consecutive quarter the Greenville, SC-based financial services company has posted a loss.
South Financial has now lost more than $700 million since the beginning of 2008, including $569 million last year, much of it from write-offs on bad loans in Florida.
Company stock closed down 8 cents a share Tuesday, at $1.05, compared to about $26 at the beginning of 2007.
The belief that some companies (Bear Stearns, AIG, General Motors) are too big to fail is a dangerous precept that erodes one of capitalism’s basic tenents - risk and reward.
As George Mason University economics professor Russell Roberts points out in The New York Times, capitalism is predicated on profits and losses.
“The profits encourage risk-taking,” he says. “The losses encourage prudence. For decades, government policy and action have discouraged prudence by bailing out or taking over virtually every significant financial institution that has acted recklessly.”
The Palmetto Bank has named former Community Bankshares Inc. CEO Sam Erwin as its chief executive officer and president.
Erwin takes over one of the largest privately held banks in South Carolina, with more than $2 billion in assets. He assumes CEO duties from chief executive Bill Stringer, who resigned at the end of June.
In addition to Community Bankshares, Erwin has also spent time with First Union, First National Bank (now South Carolina Bank and Trust) and Carolina National Bank.
Last year, Orangeburg-based Community Bankshares, a public traded company, was acquired by Columbia-based First Citizens Bank.
Erwin is a 1990 graduate of Clemson University and was named the 2005 SC Bankers Association’s Outstanding Young Banker.