I, too, wonder why banks seem so interested in securing so many prime retail locations: "I understand that the sense of respectability and solidity conferred by brick-and-mortar is an advantage when your whole job depends on making people trust you with all their money EVER, but aren't they taking it a little too far?"
Somewhat similarly, I feel like a ridiculously high proportion of stores in DC are selling cell phones. The implication seems to be that this is a big impulse purchase so you need to have tons of locations everywhere to capture all the customers. But in my experience, people seem to buy phones pretty rarely -- after all, everyone's locked in to these restrictive contracts.
Photo by Flickr user OmarOmar used under a Creative Commons license
Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.