Author Archives: Bob Atwell

The Fatal Mistake

One of our cultural mantras at Nicolet is that you don’t get fired for making mistakes, you do get fired for burying them. In good times even our bad decisions tend to turn out okay. Most of the time, a bad decision is one you merely have to undo. As country music legend Jerry Jeff Walker […]

Real Time Customer Data

I was heartened to see that our Business Pulse participants are feeling more optimistic about 2010.  Sentiment about the future is a very important determinant of the future.  We do see the monthly financial statements of hundreds of businesses in the area.  There is no apparent upward trend.  What I see is about 15% of […]

Banks and Economic Recovery

This is the time of year when most businesses plan for the next calendar year. We just completed a half day board retreat. I will offer you a peek inside our heads in the event it aids your thinking for 2010. In recent weeks we are hearing a fair amount of commentary about the recovery […]

Tax the Toobtofs

AIG headlines have overshadowed the important policy discussion about systemic risk created by the “too big to fail” (toobtof) institutions. The best way to manage systemic risk is to minimize it. The most effective way to minimize systemic risk is to tax the Toobtofs who create it. This is a market-based approach which should appeal […]

All I Really Need to Know About Economics I Learned From my Grandparents

The crisis in the financial markets and the federal response to it has created a renewed interest in economics. We are hearing about Keynes, the Austrian school and various other dead academicians. The ghost of Malthus was even spotted advising Nancy Pelosi to include contraception funding in the stimulus package (where is Saturday Night Live […]

Shovel Ready – Subprime II

The meltdown of financial markets has put us in a deep hole. The “stimulus package” will bury us. This crisis was caused by too much private debt. How can we imagine that public sector debt is the solution? We are literally burdening our children with financial and moral bankruptcy. The antidote for private sector corruption […]

Telling The Truth Slowly

Last weekend I watched portions of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s testimony to the banking committee followed by portions of the big bank CEOs’ testimony. There were moments in both where I wanted to scream, “why can’t you guys just tell the truth?” I do not mean that any of them perjured themselves in a legal sense. I mean […]

Nicolet Bank and TARP: Why Did We Take The Funds?

So if Nicolet is not broke, why did we take the TARP funds? We took the TARP funds for two reasons. The first is that we believe in the intent of the program as it was expressed to us. With the exception of the Toobtofs, the program is intended to infuse capital into strong banks because […]

Nicolet Bank and TARP: Where did the money go?

What did Nicolet do with the capital?  While our press release adequately addresses this, I would like to comment in a more complete fashion.  In my opinion, there are two reasons why the public gets frustrated with the response of banks to questions about the use of the capital. The first is my opinion, the […]

Nicolet Bank and TARP

Since the announcement of our participation in the Treasury’s Capital Purchase Program, we have received numerous questions regarding our involvement. The next few blog entries will give you some insight into our thinking. A few facts before we begin. Nicolet Bankshares, Inc. is the holding company of Nicolet National Bank. On December 23, we received […]