Its 2008! Do you know where your money is? (You better know)

My sig line, which I’ve displayed not-so-proudly for the past year is “Another day, another devalued dollar.”  It seemed appropriate at the time I decided to place it above my name in each blog comment I make, but it seems more and more appropriate with each passing day.  

Not only is our economy now in a recession, not only are home foreclosures at an all time high as well as new home sales at an all time low, not only are lending establishments NOT lending money unless people put up their first born along with some other serious collateral, but the latest bad financial news about our banking industry here in the US may have us wondering about the safety of the money you have deposited at your own bank!

This from CNN:

In the past year there have been four bank failures.

And the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and banking industry experts foresee many bank failures down the road.

“Regulators are bracing for 100-200 bank failures over the next 12-24 months,” says Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with the financial services firm, the Stanford Group.

Expected loan losses, the deteriorating housing market and the credit squeeze are blamed for the drop in bank profits.

The problem areas will be concentrated in the Rust Belt, in places like Ohio and Michigan and other states like California, Florida and Georgia.

The number of institutions categorized as “problem” institutions by the FDIC has also grown from 50 at the end of 2006 to 76 at the end of last year.

YIKES!  Ever since Bu$hCo was installed into the American Government by the Supreme Court in 2000, for America and Americans, if it wasn’t for bad luck, we wouldn’t have any luck at all.

What to do, you ask?  Well, other than digging that hole in your backyard and placing all your cash in an old cigar box and drawing a treasure map, there are a few things you can do.  NO.  Not under your mattress, silly!  Although, you wouldn’t need to draw the treasure map that way, I suppose.  Anyway, from the same article:

Here’s how to make sure you pick a safe bank. First, look for the FDIC logo at your local branch. If you don’t see it, ask the bank, or go to the FDIC’s Web site and click on “Bank Find.” Here you’ll be able to see if the bank carries this guarantee.

This step is especially important if you’re using an Internet-only bank or a bank you’ve never heard of. You can also check out the financial health of a banking institution at www.bankrate.com.

The FDIC also maintains a list of bank rating agencies on its Web site that can assess a banks financial stability. But in many cases, these companies charge a fee.

As loan delinquencies rise, and bank failures increase, the FDIC is shoring up its reserves. The agency is bringing back formerly retired employees to bolster a division that deals specifically with bank failures. Many of these agency veterans worked for the FDIC during the late 1980s and early 1990s, when thousands of financial institutions failed during the savings-and-loan crisis.

Remember, FDIC only insures up to $100,000.00 for single persons and $200,000.00 for joint accounts, so if you are far more well off than I, you might want to spread that love around to a few institutions, just in case.  These amounts include any money you have in any one bank in checking, savings and money market accounts and certificate of deposit (CD’s).

More information on your money and the insured aspects of banks and credit unions:

IRAs and Keoghs — these are retirement plans for people who are self-employed — can be insured up to $250,000. These retirement accounts are considered separate from your individual bank accounts.

If you have money in a credit union, the same protections exist. However, instead of the FDIC insurance, deposits are insured under the National Credit Union Administration, another government agency.

Of course, banks offer much more than your bread-and-butter savings and checking accounts. Some offer investments such as mutual funds or stock funds, which generally promise higher rates of return than CDs, are not insured by the FDIC nor are they insured by the broker/dealer. The general rule is deposits are FDIC-guaranteed, but not investments.  My emphasis.

Things are getting kind of crazy out there in the financial world.  If you haven’t had time to take a look at your money and where it is recently, now might be a good time to make some calls to the institutions that you currently have $$$ hanging around in and be sure you make any necessary changes as needed.

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    • brobin on February 28, 2008 at 9:06 pm
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    I have plenty of room remaining in my personal money market account and would be happy to take that pesky extra you have off your hands       😉

  1. I read in the Guardian’s review of The Three Trillion Dollar War that according to the well respected author of the book, Stiegle, (spelling might be wrong) that the US today cannot bail out banks period. As in can not back up the FDIC guarantee except for an isolated case.So if something triggered a run on banks it would be no different than the Great Depression = that’s of course if we didn’t borrow the money from China!

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