Thank you very much. I’m delighted to be able to talk to an audience of community bankers in such a beautiful setting. The 12 th Federal Reserve District stretches from Utah to Hawaii, and from Arizona to Alaska. As I travel around this region, I often think how lucky I am to be able to visit some of the most breathtaking places in the United States. Coeur d’Alene is clearly among them. I will speak today about the difficult economic landscape lying before us and what that means for community banks. It’s fair to say that you have been caught in a financial and economic crisis that you did not create, one precipitated in part by exotic financial engineering carried out mainly by large financial institutions, not banks like yours. Community banks generally steered clear of the market for credit default swaps and didn’t create structured investment vehicles to keep assets off of balance sheets. Now though all of us must live with the consequences of the culture of risk that permeated the global financial system. The near collapse of that system and the severe recession that continues today have created an exceptionally stressful environment even for well-run banks. That leaves little choice except to take the proper steps to manage through this storm, a point I will expand on later in my talk
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