Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Senator Schumer might have to pay for causing bank run

California is considering punishing distinguished Senator Schumer for the causing the run on and failure of IndyMac bank. The Story And the background story at Townhall:
Bob Dole once said the most dangerous spot in Washington was between Chuck Schumer and a TV camera. That may be true. But it might be even more dangerous to be a shareholder in, depositor in, or employee of a bank which Schumer decides to attack. Indymac Bank was having trouble, of course, before, but nothing as serious as a bank run. Bank runs, after all, are very rare in modern history. Common enough during the great depression, they largely disappeared in response to FDR’s creation of a system of safety nets such as FDIC. So why a 30s style bank panic now? Why Indymac? Because the left hated them. Indymac has been in the crosshairs for some time. The trial lawyers started going after them about a month ago. Not long after that, Schumer started sending letters to regulators attacking Indymac, questioning the financial viability of a bank which he had never examined. Neither Schumer, nor any of his staff even bothered to contact Indymac with any questions. Unsatisfied with the response, Schumer leaked his letters to the press. The local paper in Pasadena (where the bank is located) played along, and ran the story with a headline strongly suggesting insolvency. Of course, the next day depositors lined up at the door and started withdrawing money. Over the next 11 days, $1.3 billion came out. Indymac, just a regional bank, could not stand that kind of tsunami and it was forced to close its doors.

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