Will next bank bailout come from our deposits?
The EU has come up with a novel way to keep the rich from paying their share. In Cyprus, instead of punishing bankers who drove their institutions into the ground, the government has taxed deposits which has resulted in depositor losses at 60%
If there is another bailout in the United States, where will the money come from? Currently our deposits are insured by the FDIC, but a recent article in Smirking Chimp claims that the FDIC may be preparing to liquidate failing banks and convert our deposits to stock in the bank, for which we then must find a buyer.
I have also included a link to the actual paper upon which the article is based. Unfortunately, I do not understand economics well enough to decipher the document with confidence. It seems to me that the FDIC will indeed seize and liquidate assets, but will try to do so in a top down fashion that will leave deposit holders unaffected.
Here is a section from the article in Smirking Chimp:
Confiscating the customer deposits in Cyprus banks, it seems, was not a one-off, desperate idea of a few Eurozone “troika” officials scrambling to salvage their balance sheets. A joint paper by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England dated December 10, 2012, shows that these plans have been long in the making; that they originated with the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland (discussed earlier here); and that the result will be to deliver clear title to the banks of depositor funds. …
Although few depositors realize it, legally the bank owns the depositor’s funds as soon as they are put in the bank. Our money becomes the bank’s, and we become unsecured creditors holding IOUs or promises to pay. (See here and here.) But until now the bank has been obligated to pay the money back on demand in the form of cash. Under the FDIC-BOE plan, our IOUs will be converted into “bank equity.”The bank will get the money and we will get stock in the bank. With any luck we may be able to sell the stock to someone else, but when and at what price? Most people keep a deposit account so they can have ready cash to pay the bills.
As I say, the paper does not seem so devious to me, but I am not knowledgeable enough to be confident. I am including excerpts from the article, as well as the FDIC, BOE paper. Is there an economist in the house?