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July 25, 2008


Frank Rumbauskas

Just wanted to add a "thank you" for your great comments, Dean. I get so frustrated when the issue of something like photo radar comes up and sheeple comment "you should just do the speed limit."

People like that just don't get it. They don't realize it has NOTHING to do with the speed limit.

Before you know it the Comrades will ban red clothing and red cars because of some idiot scientist who says that red incites anger... that's the kind of slippery slope we're heading down if we tolerate crap like photo radar and smoking bans and junk food bans.


"Doesn't matter if the citation is fair, or not". Great, Frank.
Understand, asshole, anybody getting three tickets in a two day period for going 30MPH over the speed limit should be in jail. Understand rules?, understand laws? understand reasonable and prudent?
I sent all your e-mails relating to this matter to my Brother, a former (retired) cop in New York, and even he who spent a year in Viet Nam, Special Forces, and 27 years on the 'mean streets' felt you were out of your mind.


"Doesn't matter if the citation is fair, or not". Great, Frank.
Understand, asshole, anybody getting three tickets in a two day period for going 30MPH over the speed limit should be in jail. Understand rules?, understand laws? understand reasonable and prudent?
I sent all your e-mails relating to this matter to my Brother, a former (retired) cop in New York, and even he who spent a year in Viet Nam, Special Forces, and 27 years on the 'mean streets' felt you were out of your mind.


Feds close Scottsdale-based First National Bank of Arizona
First National to be taken over by Mutual of Omaha
11 commentsby Russ Wiles - Jul. 26, 2008 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
First National Bank, the state's largest locally based bank and a specialist in lower-quality mortgages, was closed by regulators Friday, a victim of problem loans and the lingering real-estate slump.

The bank failure will cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s insurance fund an estimated $862 million.

However, a smooth transition for First National customers and employees is expected. First National's deposits were purchased by Mutual of Omaha Bank, a subsidiary of Mutual of Omaha.
All 28 First National offices, including 15 in Arizona, will open under the Mutual of Omaha name on Monday. First National's other branches are in Nevada and California.

In the meantime, depositors can continue to write checks, make ATM withdrawals and use debit cards. Jim Nolan, spokesman for Mutual of Omaha Bank, said it will honor deposit yields and other account terms for the immediate future.

Scottsdale-based First National Bank ranked eighth in size among banks doing business in Arizona, with 2.6 percent of statewide deposits.

It is the sixth bank failure of 2008 and the first involving an Arizona institution since 2002. It was just the second Arizona banking failure in the past 16 years.

Friday's announcement ends a decadelong odyssey for First National, which rode Arizona's economic boom to become the largest independent bank here, only to collapse even faster.

The announcement was another bright-neon sign that the nation's housing slump and subprime-lending woes have come home to roost.

Multiple offers

On Friday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency closed First National, and the FDIC was named receiver.

The FDIC opened bidding for its deposits on July 23 and received multiple offers.

"There was a lot of interest in this bank," said David Barr, an FDIC spokesman, currently in the Valley with other agency officials.

Mutual of Omaha Bank bought all insured and uninsured deposits, meaning former First National Bank customers face no risk of loss from the failure. It was only the second time in the past 10 bank closings that another firm bought all deposits.

Two weeks ago, after the collapse of California's IndyMac Bank, regulators didn't find a suitor to take over assets of that firm, leaving the status of some uninsured depositors in limbo.

Mutual of Omaha Bank also will acquire $200 million in other assets from First National.

The estimated $862 million to be covered by the FDIC insurance fund reflects other assets and liabilities not assumed by Mutual of Omaha Bank.

"That's basically what they were in the hole," Barr said of First National.

Technically, the transition affects First National Bank of Nevada, into which First National Bank of Arizona was merged four weeks ago, as well as a California bank, First Heritage. All were units of Scottsdale-based First National Bank Holding Co.

"We've got temporary signs and banners for Monday with the new identification," Nolan said.

Nolan said no near-term staffing changes are likely. First National counted roughly 1,000 workers, mostly in Arizona.

In a news release, the FDIC emphasized First National Bank isn't connected to another bank with a similar name, National Bank of Arizona, a unit of Zions Bancorporation.

At its peak early last year, First National employed more than 2,200 people, including 1,300 in Arizona.

But the firm reported a $140 million loss in the first quarter, along with mounting delinquencies and charge-offs, and a worsening capital position. Its fate was sealed by an inability to find a white knight.

In a July 15 interview with The Arizona Republic, President and Chief Executive Officer James Claffee said the firm was in serious discussions with two unnamed potential investors, one a bank and the other a private-equity firm, to shore up a serious capital deficit caused by mortgage losses.

At the time, Claffee clung to hope First National could recover but cited difficulty in attracting a suitor.

A First National spokeswoman reached Friday night said the firm's principals have no current comment.

Raymond Lamb was the driving force behind First National throughout its 10-year history. Lamb owned more than 80 percent of the shares in the privately held company.

A veteran banker with nearly 40 years in the business, Lamb bought his first bank at age 29, in North Dakota.

He spent most of the next couple of decades running banks in the Midwest and New Mexico before turning his attention to Arizona and the Southwest.

He founded the company with the 1998 purchase of Laughlin National Bank, then started a sibling bank in Arizona in 1999.

The company later added a bank in California.

4 key areas

The entire enterprise, called First National Bank Holding Co., focused on four key areas: commercial loans, construction loans, small-business loans and mortgages. Lamb and other top executives stressed personal service and an ability to make quick, local decisions on lending, a slap at the large national banks that dominated and continue to dominate the landscape here.

He tried to create a "heritage" company that would last for generations. Lamb appointed sons Phillip and Patrick and daughter Elizabeth to senior management positions.

"Frankly, we have a lot of families working here," he said in a 2005 interview.

"We really want this bank to last for generations, where people feel secure that we won't merge with someone bigger and have their lives screwed up," he said back then.

Bank executives didn't see the approaching train wreck in the real-estate and credit markets.

"I don't see a bubble," said former president and CEO Gary Dorris, also in mid-2005.

Dorris, who retired earlier this year, at the time described the real-estate boom as different from a prior steep downturn in the 1980s.

"(Back then), you had credit chasing deals, and loans were made above the present value of the real estate," he said at the time. "Today, banks are requiring more equity from participants. Our company typically would require 20 to 30 percent equity from a developer."

First National's fortunes quickly began to unravel in late 2006 and early 2007.

A specialist in lower-quality "Alt-A" mortgages, the company eventually was hit with lawsuits alleging it had failed to document borrower qualifications on bad loans that were sold to Wall Street investors.

In April 2007, it announced the first layoffs in company history, affecting more than 200 workers, including 53 in Arizona.

Four months later, First National decided to close its national wholesale-mortgage operation and let more than 540 people go.

Dean Kennedy

Thanks, Frank. I see Mr. Hyphen has chosen to dig in a little further, even referencing his cop brother. Like a cop is an authority on freedom and the slippery slope of socialism.

I remember the days of the DUI limit going from .10 to .08. I cautioned friends, co workers, anyone who would listen that that would not be the end of it. They poo pooed my concern and didn't grasp the slippery slope. And today we stand, with one drink DUI laws and such. I caught a glimpse in the paper today, California has outlawed trans fats. What's next?


Frank you and Dean better straighten up. If Steve's brother Rambo Serpico-Lowen says those Photo radar cameras are a good thing well then by god they are! You two need to respect and obey his authority.lol

Frank Rumbauskas

Yeah, asking a COP about freedom ... nice going, Steve.

As a "gun nut" and frequent shooter I've gotten to know a few cops here in the CCW community and they all readily admit that most cops are very much anti-freedom and into having a police state. They said most cops have an "us against them" mentality which is sad.

The majority of cops will support anti-gun laws, ridiculous 'slightest degree' DUI laws, photo cameras, and anything else that lets them pull rank on regular citizens.

The irony is that the police unions are strongly opposed to photo enforcement because the basic premise of photo is to install a low-cost machine instead of hiring more cops.

Tyler B Harvey

Efficiency is the hallmark of a great economy.

Bring on the low-cost machines!


Hey Steve:

In the current (August 08) issue of VOGUE, you can read all about John McCain's mom Roberta getting ticketed for driving 112 mph in Arizona. She was 94 y/o at the time. Drives a red Bimmer, so watch out [lol].

Please pass this info along to your brother.


Frank Rumbauskas

That's brilliant, Tyler. Replace cops with machines and I hope you're happy living in a high-crime hellhole without enough police to protect you from gangs and thugs.

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