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CNN Financial News Producer
Colonial Bank, a southern regional bank with about $20 billion in deposits, is on the verge of failure.
In granting a request made by Bank of America to freeze assets worth $1 billion, a federal judge on Thursday said Colonial is “on the brink of collapse” and is suspected of criminal accounting irregularities.
Colonial, which has more than 350 branches in five states, has been under investigation for some time. It was one of two banks raided earlier this month by federal agents.
If Colonial does collapse, it would mark the 73rd bank failure this year, and it would also be one of the top 10 bank failures in U.S. history.
In the event that regulators shut down Colonial, customers' deposits are protected: The FDIC's insurance fund guarantees up to $250,000 per person per account. And the agency says on its Website that it historically "pays insurance within a few days after a bank closing either by establishing an account at another insured bank or by producing a check."
So far this year, 72 banks have failed. Those closures have cost the FDIC nearly $17 billion.
Consumer prices post biggest decline in 59 years
The government's index of prices paid by consumers was unchanged in July from the previous month, but the closely watched inflation gauge recorded its largest over-the-year decline in 59 years.
The Labor Department says that the Consumer Price Index, a key measure of inflation, has fallen 2.1% over the past 12 months. It was the sharpest over-the-year drop since January 1950 when CPI fell at the same rate.
The decline was led by a sharp drop in energy prices, which are down 28.1% from July 2008, when both gasoline and oil prices were at record highs.
And the highest paid CEOs are...
Last year was a bad one for most chief executives - but not for the top 10 highest paid CEOs.
Seven chief executives took home more than $100 million in 2008, and three others had paydays that topped $70 million, according to a report released today by The Corporate Library.
According to the report, Blackstone Group's Stephen Schwarzman was the highest-paid CEO in 2008, taking home $702,440,573 in salary and stock options. The head of the financial services giant vested nearly $700 million worth, or 25% of the stock options he was granted after taking the private equity firm public back in 2007.
Schwarzman will receive the other 75% of his $4.7 billion equity grant from the IPO in equal installments over the next four years, so he will likely remain at the top of this list for at least the next several years.
A Blackstone spokesman stressed that the $702 million for Blackstone is not "compensation," but is mostly the vested portion of his stock from the IPO.
Oracle Chief Executive Lawrence Ellison, 2007's highest paid CEO, was second on the list, pocketing nearly $557 million.
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