The Dolans: Is the FDIC next on the federal bailout list?
We now have a "Dirty Dozen."
This weekend, Ameribank Inc. failed -- the 12th bank this year. And trust us, it won't be the last.
We don't expect this to be as bad as the nearly 900 banks that went under from bad loans in the early 1990s during the S&L crisis. That's right -- in case you've forgotten (or, gasp, aren't old enough to remember!), we've been through this before and apparently the Wall Street money guys didn't learn a damn thing the first time around!
But many of us who never worried about the safety of our assets in a bank are now very concerned ... with good reason. This credit and sub-prime mortgage crisis is far from over.
And that could mean trouble for the institution left to clean up the mess when banks fail. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) coffers are starting to look a little thin.
The FDIC says it has $45 billion on hand to cover depositor's losses. $45 billion probably sounds like a lot of money, doesn't it? Well, it doesn't even come close to what the FDIC would need if a decent-sized bank went under.
So far, the 12 banks that have failed have been small. IndyMac was the biggest to fail with $32 billion in assets. But that's a drop in the bucket compared to the financial institution behemoths out there.
Let's use beleaguered Washington Mutual as an example. WaMu, as it is known, is by all accounts in serious trouble. And it has $181 billion in deposits. $45 billion at the FDIC ... $181 billion at WaMu. You do the math. It doesn't take an advanced degree in arithmetic to figure out some depositors would lose money in a liquidation.
That's why we believe the Treasury and the Fed will find another bank to take over WaMu, if necessary.
In the meantime, when the FDIC meets in October, expect them to hike the premiums it requires from banks to beef up its reserves.
Even with the FDIC strapped, it is still your best protection if your bank fails. But you must make sure you are under the FDIC limits to be fully protected.
The amount of uninsured deposits has doubled in the past 15 years to more than $2 TRILLION! That's insanity in today's environment.
Take steps today to make sure your money is 100% protected. Do it TODAY. Not tomorrow. Not next week. TODAY. Let us explain the rules-in plain English, we promise-and show you what to do to get fully protected.