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Money Smart Press Releases

Remarks by
Donald E. Powell
Chairman
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

At the
Announcement of the FDIC-Wachovia Partnership
In the
FDIC's Money Smart Alliance Program

FDIC Headquarters
Washington, DC
January 30, 2003

You know, bankers are generally perceived as being the epitome of hard-headed capitalism. Capitalists who value profits more than people, who operate with their heads instead of their hearts.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am a capitalist through and through.

But I also know that I have had advantages in life that many of my fellow citizens have not. I can't just look at them and say, "Too bad about that."

Too bad you are trapped in a cycle of poverty. Too bad your community is crumbling. Too bad your parents never taught you how to manage money. Too bad you didn't make informed choices and are now staggering under a load of crushing debt.

That's not MY problem.

I can't think that way, because it IS my problem. It's my problem, and your problem, and Ken Thompson's problem. It's everybody's problem.

It's everybody's problem, and if we stop to listen to our hearts instead of our heads, we know that. We know that.

Ken Thompson, head of Wachovia, has one of the best "heads" in the banking business. But he also has one of the best hearts.

He knows that what is good for the community is good for his business. When the community does well, his business does well.

So Ken Thompson, head of the bank that last year was named "U.S. Bank of the Year" by The Banker magazine, has showed outstanding leadership by making a "heart-smart" decision to have Wachovia step forward and play a major role in meeting needs in communities up and down the East Coast, with the goal of helping these communities build sustainable enterprise.

Wachovia is going to make a difference.

They are going to make a difference because they are listening to their hearts and not just their heads. Because they know that "compassion" and "capitalism" are not opposing forces - that, in fact, compassionate capitalism can and will make this great country even greater.

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Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's 9,415 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing the risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no tax dollars - insured financial institutions fund its operations.

FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at www.fdic.gov or through the FDIC's Public Information Center (877-275-3342 or 202-416-6940).

Last Updated 01/30/2003 communications@fdic.gov