Jim – That’s all fine. But there’s something I’m still missing. These banks are just about empty all day long. It’s become something of an obsession of mine to look inside and see what’s going on, and almost invariably nothing is. I find it very hard to believe that many of the branches aren’t loss leaders. Moreover, in an age of online banking, national competition and an environment where banks are — as you say — desperate to get more stable accounts, I’m less worried that they’ll all of a sudden resume 19th century bankers’ hours than you seem to be.
In my own neighborhood we have a Citibank and Wachovia facing each other across the street, using some of the best commercial real estate around. I’m delighted that chances are one of them will go. Although I could see Citbank following the Waffle House model and turning them both into Citibanks.