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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Curious Bank Observation

I stopped by my bank today (one of the "too big to fail" banks) to do a fairly large cash withdrawal.  I do this from time-to-time just to have some ready cash in the house, but I also do it when my gut says things are getting a bit "hinky".

This was a "hinky" withdrawal.  My "spidey sense" is going off - too many things in the economy are going sideways, and I'll sleep better at night knowing I have at least some of my cash in hand.  I'm not going to say how large it was, but I'll say it was under the $10k limit where paperwork gets written up and sent to the government.

Anyways, I tell the teller what I want and in what denominations.  She pushes all of the buttons, then says she needs to get a supervisor over-ride.  Hmmmmm.... OK.

The guy comes over, and makes her do the entire transaction all over.  Me swiping my card, PIN, sign the withdrawal slip - everything - with him standing there.  Very odd.  This has never happened before when I've done this in the past.

She finishes up counting out my cash and the supervisor leaves.  We're chatting about this-and-that - how I used to be in banking, the economy, the weather - and she makes a comment about, "not getting the memo."  I asked her what she meant.

She said that something must be going on.  She said that I was the 7th person to come to HER line since the bank opened (it was 11:30, so they'd been open for 2 1/2 hours) that had made a large cash withdrawal.  I was the FIRST that was under $10k.

I just shrugged my shoulders and said I had not a clue....

I have no idea if this is an isolated incident or if it's a trend.  Some of this may be attributable to some in the Main Stream Media finally calling our economic situation for what it is:  Bad.

It may be due to the stock market tanking yesterday (and again today) or any of the multiple economic reports that have come out recently - none of which are pleasant to consider.  It may be due to Europe telling the administration that they won't keep spending like we are.

Or, it could have been a bunch of separate transactions that have nothing to do with any of this.

I hope and pray this all holds together for about 12 more months.  I will have all of my ducks lined up, and if the world goes to hell-in-a-hand-basket, I'll at least be able to weather the storm much more easily.  True self-sufficiency will be a practical consideration.

If things DO turn around, I'll be in a very stable position, literally for the rest of my life.  Not living "high on the hog" but all of our basic needs taken care of.

It would be interesting to see if this continues, and if it was happening at other banks.  Was this a bank-run precursor?  No.  I think it was a handful of people that just happened to get worried on the same day.

If you remember, Citibank (not my bank) back in February notified all of its customers that it could require a 7 day advanced notice on all withdrawals.

They tried to back-peddle and say it was a mistake and was supposed to only be sent to customers of one of their Texas banks, and had been sent nationwide in error.  Oh, but they didn't fix that "error" the next month, so it still stands.

I haven't read my account disclosures since I opened the accounts.  I need to spend a bit of time scanning them to see if there is anything similar.

Interesting times...

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Andrea said...

Okay. Let me process all of this.

We have an ongoing (73 day?) oil slick in the the Gulf, bankrupting an entire region as well as poisoning it for the next 30 years.

Rumors of mass evacuations.

The stock market is tanking. Again.

Europe gave Obama the finger.

Armadinejad(or however the heck you spell it) is peeving everyone off.

And now something that sounds just a tiny bit like the beginnings of a bank run.

How much ya bet next month there's a fake terror attack and we go to war with Iran?

Chief Instructor said...

Andrea, I don't think you're too far off. We've recently repositioned a number of war ships in the general vicinity. Supposedly, Israel has gotten "fly over" permission from Saudi Arabia.

The dominoes are all in place...

MikeH. said...

Interesting times indeed.

It's the kind of stuff that can make you wonder if there may be a run on the bank or, a bank holiday, looming on the horizon.

It's also the kind of stuff that can cause a guy to UNappreciate income paid by direct deposit.

As for the redeployment of U.S. warships; For all we know, Zero may be considering a strike on Israel if they attempt to take advantage of the Saudi fly over offer.


Anonymous said...

I don't think you have a year. If some crisis doesn't accelerate all of this I think you have until after Nov 2nd. The administration will print and spend money to put off or cover up the problem but they can't do this forever.

Chief Instructor said...

Mike, this financial stuff is just going in a million different directions - nothing is making any sense. As of right now (this could easily change during the day) stocks are way down, oil is down, the dollar is down, and gold and silver are down. All of those other things should have pushed gold/silver up. Everything financial is all schizophrenic.

Interesting stuff going on with Iran. The administration today added some sorts of sanctions against them. They're playing the political game needed before they attack. Just great.

Anon, I think you're right - I think this house of cards will come tumbling down much sooner. I'm in the "hope" business right now, and that doesn't make me feel real secure.