Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

World's First Electronic Bank Run- charged to the taxpayer - 5th of series

By       Message Peter Palms       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments, 5 series

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Author 81944
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)
- Advertisement -

As the sun rose the following morning, foreign investors began to withdraw their deposits. A billion dollars in Asian money moved out the first day. The next day--a little more than twenty- four hours following Continental's assurance that bankruptcy was totally preposterous--its long-standing customer, the Board of Trade Clearing Corporation, withdrew $50 million. Word of the defection spread through the financial wire services, and the panic was on. It became the world's first global electronic bank run.

By Friday, the bank had been forced to borrow $3.6 billion from the Federal Reserve in order to cover escaping deposits. A consortium of sixteen banks, led by Morgan Guaranty, offered a generous thirty-day line of credit, but all of this was far short of the need. Within seven more days, the outflow surged to over $6 billion. 


(Image by Peter Palms)   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -
In the beginning, almost all of this action was at the institutional level: other banks and professionally managed funds which closely monitor every minuscule detail of the financial markets. The general public had no inkling of the catastrophe, even as it unfolded. Chernow says: "The Continental run was like some modernistic fantasy: there were no throngs of hysterical depositors, just cool nightmare flashes on computer screens." Sprague writes: "Inside the bank, all was calm, the teller lines moved as always, and bank officials recall no visible sign of trouble--except in the wire room. Here the employees knew what was happening as withdrawal order after order moved on the wire, bleeding Continental to death. Some cried." 2

1.    Chernow, p. 658.

2.    Sprague, p. 153.

- Advertisement -

From the beginning, there was only one serious question: how to justify fleecing the taxpayer to save the bank. The rules of the game require that the scam must be described as a heroic effort to protect the public. In the case of Continental, the sheer size of the numbers made the ploy relatively easy. There were so many depositors involved, so many billions at risk, so many other banks interlocked, it could be claimed that the economic fabric of the entire nation--of the world itself--was at stake. And who could say that it was not so. Sprague argues the case in familiar terms: 


This was the golden moment for which the Federal Reserve and the FDIC were created. Without government intervention, Continental would have collapsed, its stockholders would have been wiped out, depositors would have been badly damaged, and the financial world would have learned that banks, not only have to talk about prudent management, they actually have to do it. Future banking practices would have been severely altered, and the long-term economic benefit to the nation (and world) would have been enormous. But with government intervention, the discipline of a free market is suspended, and the cost of failure and fraud is passed to the taxpayers. Depositors continue to live in a dream world of false security, and banks can operate recklessly and fraudulently with the knowledge that their political partners will come to their rescue when they get into trouble.

THE FINAL BAILOUT PACKAGE

At the May 15 meeting, Treasury Secretary Regan spoke eloquently about the value of a free market and the necessity of having the banks mount their own rescue plan, at least for a part of the money. To work out that plan, a summit meeting was arranged the next morning among the chairmen of the seven largest banks:

1. Ibid., pp. 154-55,183.


Morgan Guaranty, Chase Manhattan, Citibank, Bank of America, Chemical Bank, Bankers Trust, and Manufacturers Hanover. The meeting was perfunctory at best. The bankers knew full well that the Reagan Administration would not risk the political embarrassment of a major bank failure. That would make the President and the Congress look bad at re-election time. But, still, some kind of tokenism was called for to preserve the Administration's conservative image. So, with urging from the Fed and the Treasury, the consortium agreed to put up the sum of $500 million--an average of only $71 million for each, far short of the actual need. Chernow describes the plan as "make-believe" and says "they pretended to mount a rescue."

- Advertisement -

Sprague supplies the details:

The bankers said they wanted to be in on any deal, but they did not want to lose any money. They kept asking for guarantees. They wanted it to look as though they were putting money in but, at the same time, wanted to be absolutely sure they were not risking anything.... By 7:30 A.M. we had made little progress. We were certain the situation would be totally out of control in a few hours. Continental would soon be exposing itself to a new business day, and the stock market would open at ten o'clock . Isaac [another FDIC director] and I held a hallway conversation. We agreed to go ahead without the banks. We told Conover [the third FDIC director] the plan and he concurred....

[Later], we got word from Bernie McKeon, our regional director in New York , that the bankers had agreed to be at risk. Actually, the risk was remote since our announcement had promised 100 percent insurance.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

http://peterPalms.com/credentials 75 year history of Palms & Company http://www.intota.com/viewbio.asp?bioID=765681&perID=722170 Google Profile: http://google.com/profiles/GlobalEconomicMeltdown Google Profiles: (more...)
 

Peter Palms Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Other Series: View All 3 Articles in "Monetary Policy Bailouts"

Other Series: View All 3 Articles in "Protecting The Public by inflation taxes as passing on of Banks losses"

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Council on Foreign Relations: De Facto Government of the United States

Government Perpetuation Report and Controlling Citizens from Rebelling, 3rd of series

Baby Boomers Pensions Owed b y U.S. May Result in Economic Tidal Wave if U.S. refuses to pay

World's First Electronic Bank Run- charged to the taxpayer - 5th of series

Extreme Capitalism Extinguishes Democracy