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The Sound of Ideas

Understanding the National City Sale

Posted Tuesday, October 28, 2008

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Understanding the National City Sale There are a lot of questions about National City's sale to Pittsburgh-based PNC, but one aspect of this is crystal clear: with the Treasury now in the business of picking winners and losers, the local bank is definitely not a winner. PNC's $5.6 billion purchase of what was Cleveland's biggest bank may alter the economic outlook for Ohio as surely as it alters the outlook for the bank's 4,000 local employees. We'll find out how and why it happened and what it says about how the Treasury will operate in the days ahead. Join us Tuesday morning at 9.

Tags

Economy, Facing the Mortgage Crisis, Making Change, Government/Politics

Guests

Kevin Jacques, Boynton D. Murch Chair in Finance and Associate Professor, Baldwin Wallace College
Bill Mahnic, lecturer in business, banking and finance at the Weatherhead School of Management, CWRU
Arielle Kass, reporter, Crain's Cleveland Business

Additional Information

Read a timeline of the National City sale.

Show Response
I am a trust officer in NCB's Private Client Group, and I have noticed that there has been no mention of the trust/wealth management business... What would you guess will happen to the Private Client Group at NCB, which is housed at the 9th and Euclid building?
National City Bank Employee

If PNC can conduct due diligence and understand the worthlessness of NCB assets, why did our Federal Regulators and Oversight NOT see it coming?
How do banks have worthless assets AND not have enough capital to cover some if not all losses?

Pat from Independence

I worked on NCC as one of the bank's auditors for about 4 yrs (1998-2002) focusing on the mortgage company. During that time as an auditor in financial services I was exposed to a number of different banks, their practices and their portfolios. Trust me, this merger is the best of a bad situation for Cleveland and the shareholders of NCC. Going into receivership would have been much much worse for the bank and the community.
I have since relocated to Washington, D.C. where I have moved over to the regulatory side of financial services. It isn't pretty out there but again, this transaction makes the best of a bad situation in the current environment.

Name Undisclosed

But for the fact that PNC received 7.7 billion in bailout money, they would not be in the position to buy National City! As a tax payer, I do not want my government deciding who are winners and who are losers in this economic "Russian Roulette", especially with my tax dollars. I, for one, do not trust the Bush administration to do the right thing. Time and time again we have seen this government do things for political reasons. This situation is ripe for just such tinkering.
I applaud Representatives LaTourette, Kaptur and Kucinich for their efforts to make sure that there are no alterior motives on the part of the Bush administration.

Chris, Mayfield Heights

On Thursday of last week, many NCB employees received their annual United Way donation forms to complete through which we pledge and donate funds from each paycheck. Then, Friday morning, the sale of the bank announcement was made. Many employees reconsidered their donations. I believe this sale will affect the donations made to United Way of Greater Cleveland which counts on corporate employees' support.
Name Undisclosed

How much is Corsair receiving for its shares, and if other shareholders are receiving less, why? If the answer is that Corsair is being favored, can anything be done about it?
Name Undisclosed

So, what does one do as an employee with things so up in the air? I work in training/design. It is our understanding that PNC's systems will be retained. How do we know whether or not to stick it out, or get out ASAP?
National City Bank Employee

National City does a lot with local businesses and financing for development projects. Do you think that will continue after the merge?
Heather, Cleveland

My husband is an executive with National City.
This comment that the market price of a stock will settle into its value does not account for the fact that PNC was given $7.7 billion to purchase NCC and National City had no bailout money available. That's not a free market system.
The fact that PNC outsourced its operations was probably part of their success story so do you really think that they will change their business plan just to keep jobs in Cleveland?
Have you talked at all about the relationships between John Dugan and PNC?

Mary

Your guests continue to say that the "efficient markets" will react to new information as it comes available to accurately price an asset. Can you consider this environment an efficient market when the only people who have access to the information upon which the value of National City should be based are bank regulators and the firms doing "due diligence" prior to an acquisition offer?
Name Undisclosed

The Plain Dealer reported that National City Bank has $91 billion in deposits and mortgages that have already been written down to some extent. How can a bank with that amount of deposits sell for only $5.6 billion dollars to a similar size bank and what is the total value of the assets that are dragging down National City Bank's value?
Mark, Chagrin Falls

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