Banking on Birmingham

Yesterday, using basic features of LittleSis, I discovered that the key matchmaker in the biggest, most complex bank merger in the history of Wall Street was a construction aggregate supply company based in Birmingham, Alabama.

Strange as it may seem, the evidence strongly suggests that individuals associated with this company leveraged their networks to bring the two banking giants together against all odds, with tremendous consequences for shareholders, homeowners, and taxpayers.

I turned this up as part of our Bay Area research project. It’s been one of the more gratifying research experiences I’ve had on LittleSis, because it demonstrates the power of the platform to expose hidden, surprising connections that bring significant depth and fresh life to news stories (this merger is still quite relevant today). And my findings should raise questions about whether the merger was an example of cronyist self-dealing at the expense of bank shareholders.

I am going to detail my findings in a Valdis Krebs-inspired blog post (including network graphs), but first:

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