Scooping up troubled banks is the new thing to do for financial institutions that have managed to keep themselves above water, and things are getting competitive out there. Failing Wachovia was the apple of Citigroup's eye until Wells Fargo tried to swoop on its courting efforts. The game of tug-of-war is an important one, as banks compete to see who will survive the economic crisis and come out in a stronger position than when it started.
Early last week, Citigroup agreed to pay $2.2 billion for Wachovia's banking operations in a deal brokered by the FDIC and then Wells Fargo agreed to pay $14.8 billion on Friday. Citi's deal tumbled with Wells Fargo's trumping offer, so Citi took the issue to a New York court and over the weekend a judge temporarily blocked the Wells Fargo deal from going through. A hearing is scheduled for later this week.