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Headlines And Stories About The Financial Meltdown

Here are recent stories of interest from around the web.
Click on the hotlinked headlines to read more.

Schiff predicts every aspect of today’s meltdown in 2006

Peter Schiff. If you didn’t know his name before now, you’ll remember it after watching this video. Among Schiff’s forecasts — made a year or two ago:

  • By November 2008, we will know we’re in a deep, dark recession
  • Subprime mortgages will collapse the housing market
  • Houses will be on the market for 6 months or more
  • Home equity will “come crashing back to earth”
  • Consumer access to credit will evaporate — including auto loans and credit cards
  • You should stay out of equities
  • Financial stocks are “toxic”
  • Bonds will be hit hard

Schiff nails it. Over and over. And the announcers on Fox Business and MSNBC actually laugh — in his face — over and over. Then the so-called “experts, including Ben Stein, make a number of dubious stock picks: Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns and WaMu.

Top 5 banks now control 39% of deposits

Institution Deposits
(in billions)
Bank of America $719.8 11.3%
Wells Fargo $711.5 11.2%
JPMorgan Chase $649.3 10.2%
Citigroup $223.6 3.5%
PNC $179.8 2.8%

How some banks are battling the confidence crisis

PR departments at Bank of America and other survivors are working overtime to soothe nervous depositors-and explain higher rates and fees. BofA, for instance, is boosting efforts to ensure employees are up on current events and know what to say about them. They’ve added a “Media Buzz” section to their intranet, a collection of news stories customers may have read, as well as “Bank Watch,” which flashes news of key developments in the financial services industry accompanied by suggested talking points.

When PNC said it was buying National City, BofA sent around a script for employees to use with customers that might be affected: “Your deposits would be safe with PNC, but wouldn’t you prefer to move your money to BofA, a bank you are already familiar with?”

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Local banks feel left out

The smaller regional and local players say the bailout just helps big banks. Credit unions and community banks are grumbling that the massive Wall Street bailout package will put them at a competitive disadvantage. Apparently, these seemingly begrudged financial institutions feel it is only fair for them to get a share of the taxpayers’ money, even if they don’t really need it.

AmEx switches to bank charter to get slice of TARP pie

AmEx, dreading it might fall behind its big bank brethren, decided to reclassify itself so it could hit the Treasury up for $2.5 billion. Neato. Maybe those credit unions that want bank bailout money so badly should consider a charter change? It’s been reported that Starbucks could be facing a bleak future from a failed economy. Could they next to run begging for a TARP handout? Don’t laugh. It could happen.

Crestmark says “We’ve got plenty of bread!”

The business bank sent this message out as an email and postcard in early October. The marketing pieces were created in response to the volume of phone calls the bank was getting as to whether Crestmark still had any money to lend.

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  1. Wow, I wish I’d seen those Fox News broadcasts back in 2006. I was saying the same thing 2 years ago. And for the same reason; when the sub-prime mortgages reset, people were going to get screwed. Should have have shorted a bunch of the big name financial stocks…

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