Saturday, October 4, 2008

The New York Times is publishing an article in tomorrow's paper (available online today) titled "For Two Longtime Bank Rivals in Charlotte, Competition Turns to Concern." If you live here, the article likely doesn't offer much you didn't already know. But the writer did an excellent job of recapitulating what the culture has been like in Charlotte for the last several years as home to both Bank of America and Wachovia's headquarters, and tells our story on a world stage.

Here's an excerpt:

No sooner had construction begun in the late 1980s on the 42-story bank headquarters — the tallest building in North Carolina — than its biggest rival announced it would build a taller building right up the street.

If one bank gave $50,000 to the Chamber of Commerce, the other wrote a check for the same amount. When one built a performing arts center, the other built a museum. For decades here, it has been thus: the two banks, homegrown Wachovia and the larger Bank of America, gleefully one-upping each other, and Charlotte coming out the winner.

With Wachovia dominating the south end of Tryon Street, uptown’s main thoroughfare, and Bank of America dominating the north end, Charlotte became the nation’s second-largest banking center behind New York.

But last week, as Wachovia, which employs 20,000 people here, became the latest financial institution to succumb to the credit crisis, the long spirit of competition between the two banks swiftly turned to concern.

Click here for the full article.


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