In 2009, the banking industry continued to feel the fallout from the financial crisis that began in mid-2007. Some good news was revealed in recently available first-quarter data, however, which showed profitability rebounding and increases in asset-quality problems slowing down. Whether measured by profits or problems, Eleventh District banks were roughly "twice as good and half as bad" as their counterparts across the nation. Most likely, this reflects the fact that the economic downturn was less severe in the district than in other parts of the nation. ; Another noticeable difference emerges when comparing district banks' recent performance with an earlier period when the economy turned south and the industry suffered significant damage--the mid- to late 1980s. At that time, students of banking history may recall, a sharp decline in oil prices triggered a deep regional recession. Bank failures soared, and the financial landscape in Texas and other parts of the Southwest changed considerably. ; This raises the question of why the district's banking industry has been able to weather the current downturn--so far--with less damage than in the 1980s. The answer likely can be found in the changing nature of the district's economic environment since then.