Bank Vibe

I was just depositing some cash into a Washington Mutual account an hour ago, and the atmosphere was unmistakably edgy. A long line of people, anxious looks on some of the faces, a vaguely nervous undercurrent of one form or another. Washington Mutual went under a few days ago and was bought up by JP Morgan Chase on 9.26. There was a fat guy jabbering excitedly to a friend and making no attempt to hide his anger at bank employees behind the glass who were sitting at desks and not at teller windows. The vibe was on the sullen side. No jokes, no smiles, no chit-chat.

  • sugar3

    Sounds like Buenos Aires circa 2003.

  • Gordie Lachance

    The recreational conspiracy theorist in me believes that this is all part of a natural cycle designed to consolidate the global economy down to about 3 or 4 corporations by the end of this century.
    But people say I’m cynical, so who knows.

  • Craptastic

    Things are getting so bad that over the weekend I was strolling down Larchmont and saw Wells Fargo employees outside their branch offering free DVD players and other items for new customers. No joke.

  • corey3rd

    Blu-ray gets my business

  • moviesquad

    Wow, I thought only “low-information” types still had accounts at Washington Mutual seeing as the writing has been on the wall for that one for over a year.

  • Cadavra

    And where would we move our money? UBS? Wachovia? What bank IS safe?

  • PastePotPete

    I use community credit unions, they just seem more low key and self-sustaining.

  • buckzollo

    seem is a relative term these days

  • Jay T.

    Wells Fargo is safe… they actually posted a profit last quarter.

  • dangovich

    Calm down people. As 9/11 proved, panic only empowers them.

  • MeandMyselfandI

    The FDIC insures your deposit up to $100,000. There is no need to go spastic unless you have deposited more than that in any one account.

  • AH

    The good news is that, as of now, the overseas markets aren’t crashing as badly expected.

  • Gordie Lachance

    Yes, the FDIC insures bank accounts up to 100,000 dollars.
    However, they only actually have funds to cover about one half of one percent of America’s personal bank accounts, so ‘insurance’ is also a relative term here.

  • BurmaShave

    Advise from a conservative friend yesterday, in earnest, passed on from his Freeper friends no doubt: Time to buy gold and guns.

  • dinther

    “Yes, the FDIC insures bank accounts up to 100,000 dollars.
    However, they only actually have funds to cover about one half of one percent of America’s personal bank accounts, so ‘insurance’ is also a relative term here.”
    Gordie, I’m not sure where you’re getting your information. The FDIC is funded by its member institutions; even under the unlikely scenario that its fund were depleted, it is fully backed by the United States Treasury. There is no plausible, real-world scenario wherein someone would lose money put into a bank.
    People who have accounts of less than 100K who are taking their money out of banks are not being very prudent.

  • Michael

    @ BurmaShave
    Sounds like a bottom to me. Go long.

  • Krazy Eyes

    If you’re concerned about the stability of your bank — start withdrawing the funds a little bit at a time and dollar cost average your way into a diversified portfolio of funds and stocks. Market crashes are a great time if you’re a buyer. They’re only bad for the sellers.
    Plus, you can look at the bright side. If the markets continue to tank you’ll have 1000s & 1000s of near-worthless shares while others will only have 100s even though you both made the same $$$ investment. you might not see your riches for a decade or two but your kids will love you for it.

  • whirlofagirl

    Have you ever been stuck in Wamu’s voicemail hell? My card didn’t work Wednesday night as I tried to pay for parking. Didn’t think anything of it. It then didn’t work Thursday evening. I got worried, was put on hold for 15 minutes, afterward being told everything was okay. My stomach became queasy when I heard that Wamu got bought out the next morning. Luckily my $$ was still in there. Not sure for how much longer.

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