Even if the line to buy failed banks grows longer, Tom C. Nichols and Don E. Cosby say they'll stay on it.

The veteran Texas bankers' Carlile Bancshares Inc. in Fort Worth announced this week that the government has granted it a shelf charter, which enables companies that do not already own banks to bid on failures. It was only the second such charter approved since the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency introduced the option in the fall. The first was granted to Gerald J. Ford, the Dallas billionaire — who just happens to be a former boss of Nichols and Cosby.

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