MONEY: Banks aren’t safe

Friday, June 26, 2009

http://mises.org/story/3507

Dead Banks Walking
Mises Daily
by Doug French
Posted on 6/11/2009 12:00:00 AM

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On the other hand, if a legitimate banking system were in place, it would be based upon honoring property rights. Customers making a deposit in a bank expect the bank to guard, protect, and return their money — at a moment’s notice in the case of demand deposits. After all, that person has not traded a present good for a future good. The depositors believe the bank is warehousing the money for them and that it is available to them at any time. This deposit is not a loan — there is no fixed term, which would be required in the case of a loan — and availability hasn’t transferred.

However, we don’t have legitimate deposit banking but a fractionalized banking system that combines deposit banking with loan banking. Those that sympathize with fractionalized banking will contend that time certificate of deposit accounts are in essence loans from depositors, entitling the bankers to use the funds at their discretion for the term of the CD — just as long as the banker has the money ready when the CD matures. But if the money is lent secured by illiquid assets such as real estate, the banker is clearly not counting on those loans to satisfy expiring CDs and must count on attracting new CD money to pay off the old.

“There is no incentive for bank depositors to go to the trouble of determining a bank’s soundness if the government is going to guarantee deposits.”

Bankers, pressured to earn returns for shareholders and protected from bank runs by FDIC insurance, have over time lent not only more of their deposits but advanced the money for riskier projects. James Grant in a recent Grant’s Interest Rate Observer reminisced about National City Bank, which back in 1954 had only lent out 41 percent of its deposits, with less than one percent of the portfolio being real-estate loans.

By the end of last year, the total loan-to-deposit ratio for all US banks and thrifts was 87 percent, and 60 percent of all loans were classified as real-estate secured.

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Bottom line: Don’t invest in any bank stock.

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JOBSEARCH: Another silent hazard in the job search

Friday, June 26, 2009

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_12514244

Google recruiter: Company kept ‘do not touch’ in hiring list
By Steve Johnson, Elise Ackerman and Sue McAllister
Mercury News
Posted: 06/03/2009 07:00:44 PM PDT
Updated: 06/04/2009 10:14:46 AM PDT

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A recruiter who left Google last year says that the company had maintained a “do not touch” list of companies including Genentech and Yahoo, whose employees were not to be wooed to the Internet search giant.

That revelation could be significant in light of this week’s disclosure that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether Google, Yahoo, Apple, Genentech and other tech companies conspired to keep others from stealing their top talent.

Although Google declined to comment on the list or other aspects of the investigation, Palo Alto attorney Gary Reback, who has been involved in a number of high-profile antitrust cases, said having such a list is not unheard of and not necessarily illegal.

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Argh!

Hard enough to get a job and the companies limit the opportunities.

A plague on all their houses.

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