Peter Schiff: The FDIC Has Huge Shortfall In Insuring Deposits

fdic

Source: Euro Pacific Capital – Cyprus Lifts The Curtain

Notable excerpts:

“This episode (Cyprus) also puts into starker focus the inadequacy of deposit insurance. By offering the illusion of systemic safety in bank deposits, government guarantees encourage recklessness by banks and depositors. They provide the same incentives that federal flood insurance does in convincing homeowners to build on flood zones. Consumer choice and risk aversion are powerful forces that could bring needed discipline to banking. The FDIC in the U.S. is in the same situation as insurance giant AIG before the crash of 2008.”

“While the FDIC currently has about $25 billion available to bail out failing banks in the event of isolated events (mainly held in U.S. treasuries that would need to be sold), it insures more than $10 trillion in deposits. Clearly it lacks the resources to cover major losses in a systemic failure.  A failure of just one of the nation’s forty largest banks could swamp the resources of the FDIC.”

“I believe that a significant spike in Treasury yields, to say 6%, would result in the failure of several major banks. Bank of America and Citibank for example each have over $1 trillion in deposits. Where would the FDIC get the money to make the depositors whole in such a situation? The government would be unlikely to pass a major tax increase to fund an FDIC bailout. More likely the Fed would print the money. In that event, depositors may not lose their money, but their money will lose much of its purchasing power. In the end, honest losses could prove to be much smaller.”

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