The financial system is predominantly comprised of digital money. Actual physical Dollars bills and coins only amount to $1.36 trillion. This is only a little over 10% of the $10 trillion sitting in bank accounts. And it’s a tiny fraction of the $20 trillion in stocks, $38 trillion in bonds and $58 trillion in credit instruments floating around the system.
Suffice to say, if a significant percentage of people ever actually moved their money into physical cash, it could very quickly become a systemic problem.
Indeed, this is precisely what caused the 2008 meltdown, when nearly 24% of the assets in Money Market funds were liquidated in the course of four weeks. The ensuing liquidity crush nearly imploded the system.
..Perhaps the most concerning is the fact that should a “systemically important” financial entity go bust, any deposits above $250,000 located therein could be converted to equity… at which point if the company’s shares, your wealth evaporates.
Indeed, the FDIC published a paper proposing precisely this back in December 2012. Below are some excerpts worth your attention:
An efficient path for returning the sound operations of the G-SIFI to the private sector would be provided by exchanging or converting a sufficient amount of the unsecured debt from the original creditors of the failed company into equity. In the U.S., the new equity would become capital in one or more newly formed operating entities. …
In other words… any liability at the bank is in danger of being written-down should the bank fail. And guess what? Deposits are considered liabilities according to US Banking Law. In this legal framework, depositors are creditors.
So… if a large bank fails in the US, your deposits at this bank would either be “written-down” (read: disappear) or converted into equity or stock shares in the company. And once they are converted to equity you are a shareholder not a depositor… so you are no longer insured by the FDIC.
So if the bank then fails (meaning its shares fall)… so does your deposit.
Let’s say ABC bank fails in the US. ABC bank is too big for the FDIC to make hold. So…
1) The FDIC takes over the bank.
2) The bank’s managers are forced out.
3) The bank’s debts and liabilities are converted into equity or the bank’s stock. And yes, your deposits are considered a “liability” for the bank.
4) Whatever happens to the bank’s stock, affects your wealth. If the bank’s stock falls at this point because everyone has figured out the bank is in major trouble… your wealth falls too.
This is precisely what has happened in Spain during the 2012 banking crisis over there. And it is perfectly legal in the US courtesy of a clause in the Dodd-Frank bill.
This is just the start of a much larger strategy of declaring War on Cash. The goal is to stop people from being able to move their money into physical cash and to keep their wealth in the financial system at all costs.
Full article: The FDIC’s Plan to Raid Bank Accounts During the Next Crisis (Zero Hedge)