U.S. banks are being shut down by federal regulators at a staggering pace this year, and yet most Americans seem completely oblivious to it. In fact, federal officials have already shut down 81 U.S. banks this year, which is about double the number that were shut down at this time last year. So why aren’t more people upset about this? Well, part of the reason is because the FDIC is doing it very, very quietly. The bank closings for each week are announced every Friday, which means that they pass through the news cycle over the weekend almost unnoticed. For example, banks in Nebraska, Mississippi and Illinois with total deposits of almost $2.3 billion were shut down by federal regulators on Friday. So did you hear about it before now? If not, why not? Shouldn’t the fact that we are experiencing a banking system collapse be headline news? But most Americans are more than happy to remain blissfully ignorant of what is going on. In fact, most Americans seem far more interested in what is happening on American Idol or Dancing With The Stars. But when the American Dream starts dying for tens of millions of Americans as the economy collapses perhaps more people will start to care.
So just how bad is the banking system crisis?
Well, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair says that 775 banks (approximately ten percent of all banks in the United States) are now on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s list of “problem” banks.
So should we be alarmed by that?
Well, there were only 252 U.S. banks on the FDIC’s problem list at the end of 2008.
There were 702 U.S. banks on the FDIC’s problem list at the end of 2009.
Now there are 775.
Do you know if your bank is on the verge of failing?
You might want to check.
But even if all of our banks fail the FDIC has plenty of money to cover our federally-insured banking accounts, don’t they?
Unfortunately, they do not.
The FDIC is backing nearly 8,000 U.S. banks that have a total of $13 trillion in assets with a deposit insurance fund that is pretty close to flat broke.
It was recently reported that the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund now has negative 20.7 billion dollars in it, which actually represents a slight improvement from the end of 2009.
But the bank failures on Friday drained another $313.6 million from the FDIC’s deposit-insurance fund.
And the way things are trending, the banking crisis could get a whole lot worse?
Well, Americans are simply not doing a very good job of paying their bills.
During the first quarter of 2010, the total number of loans at U.S. banks that were at least three months past due increased for the 16th consecutive quarter.
16 quarters in a row.
Just let that sink in.
If that is not a trend, then what is?
Oh, but the U.S. government will never let the entire banking system fail, right?
Well, they won’t let the “too big to fail” banks go under, we have seen that.
But the small and mid size banks?
They fall into the “not big enough to bail out” category.
And where in the world is the U.S. government going to get more money to bail anyone out?
The reality is that the U.S. government is now over 13 trillion dollars in debt.
To give you an idea of just how horrific that is, if you started spending a million dollars a day on the day that Christ was born, you still would not have spent a trillion dollars by now.
That is how big a trillion is.
But for this year alone it is being projected that the U.S. government will have a budget deficit of approximately 1.6 trillion dollars.
So, yes, pretty much wherever you turn we are facing a financial nightmare.
What should we do about all this? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts….