Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Money In The Bank

"Just like money in the bank!" You've heard the expression before, I know we all have. It's been around since Depression Days when, I gather, it meant something quite different than it does now. I tried looking up the inferences for the phrase on our wonderful research tool, the Internet, but gave up in disgust after reading a few irrelevant posts. So Mr. Know-it-all here is going to pretend he is omniscient and impart his wisdom to his very few readers.

I am going to take a leap of faith - and where does that idiom arise from - the act of some thirteen-year-old, tawny-skinned temptress adorned in hula skirt and nothing else, being shoved from the edge of a volcanic lip into a swirling caldera of boiling magma - burbling and spitting white-hot bits of Hellsfire - by a squat burly burnt-brown-by-the-sun native chieftain to appease the Gods?

And as she tumbles, head-over-heels into the incandescent maelstrom screaming "but I'm not really a virgin, ask Bononuko," the witch-doctor, appalled, shakes his staff in fury and curses the heavens in Shamanic tongue, uttering "Damn, there goes another sugar cane crop." Or something to that effect, my Hawaiian isn't all that great.

But, as I was saying. "Just like money in the bank." That implies to me (hereafter you will address me as "Oh, Great Wise One, or suffer the consequences) that it is referring to somethat that is a "sure thing." There are all sorts of subliminal implications here (so what were they really interposing between all the frames of the films we used to see when we were younguns?) to influence us, compelling us to unwittingly act out of character like miniature Stepford Boys?

I mean, aside from instilling an insatiable hunger for stale popcorn drenched in artificially-flavored imitation butter, and an incapable-of-being-slaked unquenchable thirst for overpriced Mr. Pibb filled eighty percent to the top with small icebergs that were intended to crack the enamel on your teeth, so that Mr. Piffle, the dentist, who owned the cinema could reel you into his office like a fat carp on ten pound test? What were they really attempting to teach us?

Well, I'll tell ya Pilgrim; they were brainwashing yoose. Generations after our ancestors discovered the hard way - during the Depression - that keeping money in the bank was for fools, the powers that be decided that they needed to gain the confidence of the public again so that they could gain the money of the public in a confidence game.

So they started transmogrifying your cerebral synapses, altering your neural pathways until you, little fool, went in and deposited your life savings into the safekeeping of the big bank where the rotund, smiling man with the brindled handlebar mustache wearing a charcoal grey pinstriped suit handed you a little midnight blue passbook. Stamped within was a small number that allegedly represented the amount of your deposit with the bank. Your money was safe! You were a productive member of society. You should be so proud!

Well, let me tell you. Money in the bank is not safe, not if you don't know from one moment to the next if your particular branch might not be the next to collapse from the subprime lending debacle. How many banks have failed this year so far? Let me see. Just off the top of my head I can remember that United Commercial Bank, San Francisco, CA with approximately $11.2 billion in assets and approximately $7.5 billion in deposits was closed. Gateway Bank of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO with approximately $27.7 million in assets and approximately $27.9 million in deposits was closed.

Prosperan Bank, Oakdale, MN with approximately $199.5 million in assets and approximately $175.6 million in deposits was closed. Home Federal Savings Bank, Detroit, MI, with approximately $14.9 million in assets and approximately $12.8 million in deposits was closed. United Security Bank, Sparta, GA with approximately $157 million in assets and approximately $150 million in deposits was closed. And that's just since the start of November, 2009. Your money in the bank is not "money in the bank!" It is not safe. Are you listening? It is not safe!

Do your own research, I'd never let you copy my homework anyway. Overseas financial analysts are beginning to murmur that the dollar should and will soon be replaced as the reserve currency of the world. They are whispering in hushed tones that a revaluation of the dollar is overdue and, any day now, when that happens, you could immediately lose as much as half the value of your savings.

Don't be caught in a line that stretches half way around the block, only to learn the bank has closed it's doors and hung a sign that states "banking holiday, we are sorry for any inconvenience." What that will really mean is no ATM withdrawals, checks will not be honored, and credit card usage refused. Could you last for two weeks with the money you have in your wallet right now? One week? A single day?

You should keep no more money in the bank then the minimum required to pay your bills. You should keep a small emergency contingency fund of a few hundred dollars in a safe place at home. If you have discretionary income, you should immediately convert your worthless fiat banknotes into real money, silver and gold. What have you got to lose? The damn banks don't pay a credible amount of interest anyway.

The cost of precious metals, increasing daily with rising momentum along an ever-steepening parabolic curve towards pricelessness should tell you that people the world over are "getting it" even if you aren't. The People's Republic of China telling it's thirteen hundred million citizens to buy precious metals is "getting it." India purchasing two hundred tons of gold from the IMF is "getting it."

You need to "get it" too. Buy silver, buy gold. Keep them in a safe place in your direct possession. Once you've done that, you can relax. And then maybe you can say "now, that's money in the bank!"

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