Our colleagues at the Santa Barbara-based Pacific Coast Business Times earned some serious plaudits with a Best in Business breaking news award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for witnessing a bank fail in real time. On February 18, reporters Marlize van Romburgh and Stephen Nellis travelled to San Luis Obispo on a hunch that the FDIC would seize the bank. Stopping for coffee at Starbucks, they spotted C. G. Kum, the CEO of First California Bank and literally followed him over to San Luis Trust at 5 p.m. to watch him announce that it would be taken over by his employer. “It was really a moonshot,” said editor Henry Dubroff. “We were lucky and smart.”
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