In March of this year (2008), Bear Stearns failed. I was like, “Yeah,
so what? That’s a huge bank that I have no parts of. It’s due to a lot of rich
people taking their money out of a huge investment firm, reallocating their
complicated investment vehicles elsewhere. They are just panicking.”
J.P. Morgan gets Bear Stearns. Bank of America gets
Countrywide. OK, cool.
More recently, Lehman Brothers failed. It was one of the
largest bank failures ever. I was like, “Yeah, so what. Another huge bank goes
under with their probably Enron-like policies. I don’t care. That’s got
nothing to do with me. My investments are held by Bank of America.
Recently (about a month and a half ago), I moved everything
to Wachovia. Yeah, I’m one of those
people. Investments, savings and all moved to Wachovia.
Last week: Washington
Mutual failed. J.P. Morgan gets Washington Mutual. I am starting to wonder, “Damn.
Who’s next? Banks are swallowing each other whole like Tylenol, trying to
soothe the headache caused by failing credit and mortgage sectors.”
Merrill Lynch jumps into the lap of Bank of America like a
toddler seeking mother’s comfort.
Friday afternoon, September 26, 2008: Wachovia trades at about eight dollars.
This morning, the following Monday: Wachovia trades for about three dollars. I
watched the trading price drop as low as one dollar.
Reporters reported: “Wachovia did not fail.”
Citigroup gets Wachovia.
Wachovia could no longer stand alone. The FDIC decided to
use Citigroup to “salvage” Wachovia. Wachovia is my bank. I don’t care what “they”
say, Wachovia, in my eyes, failed.
J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs are converting from
investment institutions to regular, run of the mill, commercial banks.
My bank failed. “They” say that when I go to the bank, it
will be “business as usual”.
When I finally found a Wachovia branch this morning (I am
visiting Summerville, SC), it was business as usual. No one even acted like
anything was going on. It was scary – the usual smile and helpful suggestions.
I didn’t ask any questions, but it seemed like their kind, bright smile only
hid sentiments of “My job will be gone. Citigroup will have my position
eliminated. Nice to meet you for the first and last time.”
Representatives from Wachovia will be at my place of work
tomorrow. This had been planned for about a month. I wonder what they will say
in light of recent events. All employees at my place of work received a letter
from Wachovia, assuring us that our retirement savings and investments are
safe, and that “everything will be OK”.
Tomorrow, they will face a lot of difficult questions. I
will remain silent, only listening.
In my eyes, my bank has failed. Just tell me about it.
Tell us how everyone will soon be a dedicated depositor of one of the following ‘Super Banks’:
Bank of America
Local banks are doomed to die.
The BAIL OUT did not survive.