Re: Loss of First Interstate in Los Angeles

Rohit Khare (
Sat, 10 Feb 96 19:55:40 -0500

I should add that after reading that article first on the nytimes web site, I
turned to the paper copy I had with me.

Never underestimate print!

I found that this article was the 'cover' of the business section -- this
says a **lot** more about the Time's editorial evaluation of this writer's
work than the <UL> on the Business page.

The splash picture was an image that restated the exact image I reached for
in my summary -- a shot of the LA skyline, with the banks numbered and
out-of-city origins tallied.

Below the fold, I found a large pair of charts, which offered me more insight
into the drama and drastic nature of this move that anything. Fans of Edward
Tufte take note:

1) a bar-chart of the largest banks in each city. Clearly annotated
by size *and* numeric assets in reverse type, then *sorted* by city size.
Right there, you see an exponential fall off, with this 'missing bar' for LA
-- no, wait, that's the drop from NY/Citibank's 256 Billion to LA's City
National Bank, weighing in at 4B. My god, that's a smaller bank than, scan...
San Antonio's!

2) A bar chart of the largest banks left in LA. What a scrawny lot!
This is the clever 'third dimension' of the statistic summarized in 1), for a
particular city. But now the sort order changes to *size*, which shows the
clear exponential falloff after City National into the *truly* scrawny

Unfortunately, I have no comparative stats on Boston, because it's not in the
top 10 largest cities.

Just think if the NYTWeb had an applet to let me slice and dice those the way
I wanted to, though... just think!

Rohit Khare