NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- US Bancorp
(USB - Get Report) is a major banking institution that flies under most radar screens.
That's hard to figure out when the news is full of reports about the fines, penalties, rejected capital plans, improper accounting and all manner of sundry mismanagement episodes involving the top U.S. banking centers.
USB is the fifth-largest bank in the United States. The business model is remarkably pedestrian. The bank takes in customer deposits, makes community mortgages and loans, and collects fees for routine banking services. The M.O. is "Main Street," not "Wall Street."
Quietly, USB common shares represent Buffett's and Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.B) eighth-largest position at about $3.25 billion. What's more, the quarterly 13-F disclosure statements indicate that in each successive period the position has grown.
Buffett's not alone. TheStreet's Jim Cramer owns USB in his charitable portfolio, Action Alerts PLUS. I own some as well.
US Bancorp by the Numbers
By some measures, US Bancorp is the best-run, most efficient outfit of the mega-bank lot. Here are two slides comparing USB with other major-banking peers. The first slide highlights return-on-equity and return-on-assets, two typical measures of how effectively management handles capital: