Now the regulators are saying: Come into my office, run it by me first. I won't be able to give you a total blessing ahead of time but I can let you know what I'm thinking.
That sounds like a good thing. Unless you're a bank CEO. Bank CEOs--the ones that didn't get fired--have been walking around for the past five years cursing regulators every chance they get. Why, then, would they want to ask a regulator for permission to do a deal? What do regulators know, anyway?
Well CEOs, here's a news flash. Your regulators are scared to death of making the wrong move. Run things by them every chance you get. Regain their trust. Stop complaining. And then you can do your deals.
-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.Follow @dan_freed