First, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley became bank holding companies for the ability to access deposit assets, TARP funds and let’s face it, basic survival. Next, we saw some me-too’s like American Express, who’ve justified the decision to become “banks” based on the competitive disadvantage they may find themselves in should they opt not to.
On December 26th came word that, I kid you not, General Motor’s GMAC unit had recieved approval to become a bank holding company as well. If GMAC was an actual bank, I wouldn’t have the confidence to put a single Canadian Loonie in it.
But here’s the more interesting question…who else could/should apply to become a bank holding company? Below is my not-so-serious list of candidates as more companies and industries look for shelter in this, our Greatest Depression.
Chipotle Financial – Free burrito with the opening of an express checking account.
Chesapeake Energy Savings & Loan – Specializing in CEO stock-secured margin loans.
First Bank of Sandisk – Safe deposit boxes now featuring extra flash memory.
LuluLemon Federal Savings Bank – Imagine those teller’s uniforms!
DryShips Mutual – Savings account interest tied to Baltic Dry Shipping Index.
Abercrombie, Fitch & Co. – Investment management and brushed twill cargo shorts, all under one roof.
Full Disclosure: I currently own shares of Chesapeake Energy (CHK) in customer accounts.