by Monica Davis
While Europe twitches and waits for the other shoe to drop in the bank crisis, as usual Americans are sleeping through it. Despite the banking crises of the last five years, Americans are acting as if they never existed. Many look at the crisis in Europe as if it is happening on some distant planet in a galaxy far, far away.
In fact, there have been many bank crises in the US and abroad. How can we forget the Wall Street Crash, the Housiing Crash, and the still bubbling Student Loan meltdown?
The United States has a 250 year history of bank crises and panics, beginning with the 1763 crisis which began in Europe. As Wikipedia note, bank crises tend to spread, often far beyond national borders:
Banking panics and systemic banking crises
- Crisis of 1763, started in Amsterdam, begun by the collapse of Leendert Pieter de Neufville, spread to Germany and Scandinavia
- Crisis of 1772–1773 in London and Amsterdam, begun by the collapse of the bankers Neal, James, Fordyce and Down.
- Panic of 1792, New York
- Panic of 1796–1797, Britain and United States
- Panic of 1819, a U.S. recession with bank failures; culmination of U.S.’s first boom-to-bust economic cycle
- Panic of 1825, a pervasive British recession in which many banks failed, nearly including the Bank of England
- Panic of 1837, a U.S. recession with bank failures, followed by a 5-year depression
- Panic of 1847, United Kingdom
- Panic of 1857, a U.S. recession with bank failures
- Panic of 1866, Europe
- Panic of 1873, a U.S. recession with bank failures, followed by a 4-year depression
- Panic of 1884, United States and Europe
- Panic of 1890, mainly affecting the United Kingdom and Argentina
- Panic of 1893, a U.S. recession with bank failures
- Australian banking crisis of 1893
- Panic of 1907, a U.S. economic recession with bank failures
- Great Depression, the worst systemic banking crisis of the 20th century
- Secondary banking crisis of 1973–1975 in the UK
- Japanese asset price bubble (1986–2003)
- Savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s in the U.S.
- Finnish banking crisis of 1990s
- Swedish banking crisis (1990s)
- Venezuelan banking crisis of 1994
- 1997 Asian financial crisis
- 1998 collapse of Long-Term Capital Management
- 1998 Russian financial crisis
- Argentine economic crisis (1999–2002)
- 1998–99 Ecuador banking crisis
- Subprime mortgage crisis in the U.S. starting in 2007
- 2008 United Kingdom bank rescue package
- 2009 United Kingdom bank rescue package
- 2008–2009 Belgian financial crisis
- 2008–2012 Icelandic financial crisis
- 2008–2009 Russian financial crisis
- 2008–2009 Ukrainian financial crisis
- 2008–2012 Spanish financial crisis
- 2008–2011 Irish banking crisis
Today’s crisis in the European Union is just the latest in a string of soon to be global bank crises–many caused by liquidity crises, regulatory failures, corruption and so forth. Regulators fail to regulate. Corrupt officials allow their institutions to be used for money laundering—and, reportedly in the Cyprus catastrophe, allow corrupt criminal depositors to withdraw their funds and leave small depositors to take the fall.
Many pessimists believe the contagion will eventually cause American banks to react to the EU crisis. Today some of them are sounding the alarm: withdrawal limitations, nationalization of accounts, “haircuts”, currency devaluation–and change of currency are all possibilities they are looking at.
Jim Rodgers, a long time investor and critic says that Americans are liing in a dream land of debt, consumption and denial.
“The United States is the largest debtor nation in the history of the world,” Rogers says. “No nation in history that’s gotten itself into this kind of situation has woken up one morning and said, ‘Oh well, that’s behind us now, let’s move on.’ It leads to problems, and unfortunately, most people don’t seem to understand [that].” MOREHERE
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