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Community Banking Strategies: Steady Growth, Safe Portfolio Management, and Lasting Client Relationships


Praise for Community Banking Strategies

"In Community Banking Strategies, Vince Boberski not only gives unique and penetrating insights into the triggering events that caused the 'Great Recession' of 2008–2010, but also outlines effective and powerful forward-thinking strategies for community bankers to adopt as they cope with the new financial and market realities that lie ahead. This book is a must-read for any community banker wanting to take advantage of a generational shift in the financial markets and position the bank to thrive in future years."
Camden R. Fine, President and CEO, Independent Community Bankers of America

"Community Banking Strategies provides timely and sensible advice to the banking industry. Vince Boberski makes good use of historical perspective to provide credible evidence that the balance sheet, earnings, and risk management strategies he outlines do indeed work."
Kent Townsend, Executive Vice President and CFO, Capitol Federal Financial

"The book provides a great overview for community bank managers, directors, and investors for perspective on how to evaluate bond portfolios, wholesale funding, and derivative strategies in the context of managing the dynamics between the core bank and the wholesale bank as it relates to the bank's overall objectives."
Jeff K. Davis, CFA, Managing Director, Guggenheim Securities, LLC

"This book contains critical information for a community bank manager at any level. It speaks in plain terms of the factors creating the global liquidity crisis in 2008 and 2009, explains how broker/dealers operate from an insider's perspective, and has a bird's eye view of the pros and cons of certain popular investment strategies. I highly recommend it."
Jim Reber, President and CEO, ICBA Securities

VINCENT BOBERSKI is a senior vice president and partner at Vining Sparks IBG, a broker/dealer for institutional investors. He was a senior vice president at FTN Financial and a managing director and head of fixed income research and strategies at RBC Capital Markets. Boberski began his career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago; an undergraduate degree from William & Mary, where he was a Wilson Scholar; and the CFA and PRM designations. Boberski is a regular contributor to CNBC and Bloomberg TV and radio. He speaks frequently at institutional investment conferences and is quoted often in the financial press. He lives in Memphis with his wife Anne, two children, and more dogs than are strictly necessary.


1 A New Era for Community Banking.

A Five-Forces Analysis of the Competitive Position of Community Banks.

Rivalry Within the Industry and New (Really Returning) Entrants.

The Bargaining Power of Suppliers and Customers.

The Threat of New Products.

Has the Community Banking Model Changed?

Winners and Losers.

The Revolution of 2008.

The Nationalization of Fannie, Freddie, and Poof! No More Private Securitization.

The Loss of Wall Street Balance Sheets: Who Moved My Primary Dealer?

The Collapse of the Consumer: An Escalade for Every Driveway.

The Collapse of the Housing Market: Jingle Mail, Jingle Mail, Jingle All the Way.

A Look Forward.

Consolidation and Less Competition for Community Banks from Larger Institutions.

Signifi cantly Improved Liability Pricing.

More Big Failures.

A Recession Deeper Than the Early 1980s.

Housing Prices Fail to Rise.

The Securitization Engine Fails to Restart.

The Treasury Effectively Becomes an Activist Shareholder.

Crowding Out by the Treasury.

A Prolonged Period of Stagfl ation Driven by Skyrocketing Energy Costs and Permanently Higher Tax Rates.

Where, Incidentally, Is the Next Bubble Going to Be If Not in Goods Prices?

2 Historical Credit Crises and What's Different Now.

The Derivatives Mess of 1994.

The Russian and LTCM Crisis of 1998.

The Commercial Real Estate and S&L Crisis of 1988 to 1992.

How Bad Can Things Get?

3 Valuations and Lessons from the Equity Markets.

What Drives Bank Valuations?

What Investors Look for in Different Parts of the Credit Cycle.

Practical Implications.

4 Liabilities and Capital.

Liabilities and Franchise Value.

Advice from a Flat Curve Environment (2007).

What Works.

5 Managing the Balance Sheet Through Different Interest-Rate Cycles.

What Brokers Will Ask You to Do and When You Should Do Them.

Wholesale Leverage.

Deleveraging, Including Loan Sales.

Bond-Portfolio Restructuring.


Summary 72

6 Investments and the Wholesale Balance Sheet.

The Cost of Liquidity.

The Bond Portfolio and A/L Management.

The Portfolio as an Earnings Driver.

Appropriate Products for Bank Investment Portfolios.

Agency MBS and CMOs.

Ginnie Mae MBS and CMOs.

SBA Floating- and Fixed-Rate Pools.

Callable and Bullet Agency Debentures.

Bank-Qualifi ed Municipals.

Portfolio Structures and Processes That Work.

7 What Banks Should Ask of Their Brokers.

Products and Services Your Broker Should Provide.

Different Brokerage Models.

Questions Your Broker Should Know the Answer to (or Should at Least Ask).


8 Tax Effi ciency: As Important as Operational Efficiency.

When Munis Make Sense.

When to Put BOLI on the Balance Sheet.

Case Study: Munis Versus BOLI.

BOLI Specifics: The Case for Separate Account Versus General Account.


9 Derivatives as a Way to Manage Balance Sheet, Earnings, and Business Risk.

Macro, One-Way, and Two-Way (or Client) Hedging Examples.

Macro Hedge.

One-Way Hedging.

Two-Way or Client Hedging.


A Word on Structured Repo.

Appendix: Caps, Floors, and Swap Valuations.



Performance Measurement Through Peer Analysis and Benchmarking.

Synthetic Duration Matching.

Synthetic Historical Volatility Matching.

SD of Portfolio Returns ÷ SD of Index Return.

Sharpe Ratio, Treynor Measure, Scaled Returns, and Scenario Analysis.

About the Author.