Banking Crisis 3.0: Time to Change the Rules of the Game

On CNN March 14, Roger Altman, a former deputy Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, said that American banks were on the verge of being nationalized:

What the authorities did over the weekend was absolutely profound. They guaranteed the deposits, all of them, at Silicon Valley Bank. What that really means … is that they have guaranteed the entire deposit base of the U.S. financial system. The entire deposit base. Why? Because you can’t guarantee all the deposits in Silicon Valley Bank and then the next day say to the depositors, say, at First Republic, sorry, yours aren’t guaranteed. Of course they are.

… So this is a breathtaking step which effectively nationalizes or federalizes the deposit base of the U.S. financial system.

The deposit base of the financial system has not actually been nationalized, but Congress is considering modifications to the FDIC insurance limit. Meanwhile, one state that does not face those problems is North Dakota, where its state-owned bank acts as a “mini-Fed” for the state. But first, a closer look at the issues.

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