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All,

This one slipped under a lot of noses (I knew earlier in the year it was going to happen). BNP Paribas, the world's seventh-largest bank (with global HQ in Paris) has recently and signficantly grown its' U.S. franchise, Bank of the West, as detailed at

www.bankofthewest.com

Also keep in mind, BNP Paribas/BancWest also owns Honolulu-based First Hawaiian Bank.

What does that mean for us? Well, for starters, HSBC, another global giant with HQ in London, has mentioned that they are shopping for more branches here in the U.S.A. (At present, they are the leading bank in upstate NY with a few branches in CA, FL, and Philadelphia).

If the economy keeps slipping, which I think it will because of the damage done by longshoremen's strike on the West Coast, I think that some of the banks we discuss now and again may be attractive to these foreign banks with deep pockets...

SJJ
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