MELTDOWN

Biggest Bank Bust of the Year

Looks like at least one bank was left out of the TARP bonanza. Colonial Bank, which is based in Alabama, will close its doors and be acquired by BB&T, another major regional bank. CNN reports that Colonial "is the sixth-largest bank failure in U.S. history and by far the largest failure of 2009." The bank's failure will not affect most people with accounts there (all balances up to $250,000 are guaranteed by the government). However, mortgage rates may go up, as Colonial was heavily involved in providing "financing needed by mortgage brokers and non-bank lenders to make home loans." Colonial offices in Orlando, Florida, were recently raided by government regulators in relation to accusations of "bad accounting practice and recognition of losses." So far, 77 banks have failed in 2009.