The First Bank Failure of 2008. Luke Mullins. US News and World Report. Bad commercial real estate loans sink a small financial institution in Kansas City. A tiny bank in Kansas City, Mo., has become the first bank in the country to fail this year—but it's unlikely to be the last. Federal regulators on Friday shuttered Douglass National Bank, an African American owned bank with $59 million in assets that was named in honor of the 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The bank, which has roots stretching back to the 1940s, had struggled of late, losing $1.3 million in 2007 and $4.3 million in 2006. Although its recent losses were tied to bad commercial real estate loans, not residential mortgages, the bank's problems are nonetheless linked to the global mortgage crisis that has ripped through the financial services industry, says William Michael Cunningham of Creative Investment Research. "It's this secondary and tertiary impact of the crisis in th
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