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Wisconsin InfoLink is an almanac of Wisconsin facts and resources compiled by Ron Larson. Each week on the WisconsinWatch blog, Larson introduces us to one of these gems.

June marked the 149th anniversary of the bank riots in Milwaukee, where an upset mob stormed at least five banks and caused a great deal of mayhem. The headline in a Milwaukee newspaper: ‘Disgraceful Riot! A Mob Marches Through Our Streets & Assails the Banks!’ (You can read more about the riot at Wisconsin History Day by Day, a site I built that offers a daily dose of history.)

Even with the financial industry upsetting a lot of people these days, the idea of bank riots seems a little far-fetched in 2010. But, it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on your financial institution to make sure things are going smoothly.

Featured resource: Wisconsin InfoLink on financial institutions

A good place to start your investigation is Wisconsin InfoLink > Business > Business links. There you will find a link to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. On the DFI home page, you will find a number of very useful links under the left-hand headings of QuickFile and QuickLinks.

For example, QuickFile can help you file a complaint about a business, or request a certificate of status that will tell you whether a bank is in good standing with the state.

The QuickLinks collection includes the Division of Banking and Savings Institutions, which has a wealth of information. For instance, you’ll find a list of Wisconsin banks, bank Call Reports (the quarterly financial statements the bank files with the FDIC) and bank performance indicators (PDF).

Stay informed about your financial institution through Wisconsin InfoLink. It’s a lot safer than taking part in a bank riot.

Ron Larson, a blogger for and staffer at the Wisconsin Historical Society, spent most of his professional life organizing information and helping reporters find facts and data as the library director at the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times. The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism ( collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

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