By Richard Craver, Winston-Salem Journal
The stunning rise of BB&T Corp. from an eastern North Carolina community bank to a major Southeast powerhouse has been documented in a new book titled Genealogy of American Finance.
The book by finance professors Richard Sylla and Robert Wright focuses on the nation’s Top 50 financial institutions and their growth strategies. It has been published by Columbia University Press in conjunction with the Museum of American Finance.
“There have been more than 23,000 banks to have gone bankrupt in American history,” the authors said. “These large complex financial institutions are in a sense the victors in a 225-year Darwinian struggle for existence.
“Why these institutions thrived while others faltered is of keen interest to bankers, investors, uninsured bank creditors, regulators and policymakers.”
The authors trace the family tree of each financial institution to its founding, as well as the founding of key banks they purchased...