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Nico Isaac

How Safe Is Your Bank, Really?

Nico Isaac tells us why the FDIC guarantee is just an “illusion”

By Nico Isaac

  • So far in 2010, the number of US bank failures has reached 25, a rate of two per week. This compares to 25 total bank failures for ALL of 2008, and three for 2007.
  • The benchmark KBW Bank Index still stands 60% below its 2007 peak, while one-third of all US banks reported a net loss for 2009.
  • The FDIC’s list of “problem” institutions rose from 552 to 702 from Q3 to Q4 of 2009.
  • And each new day could bring a new, personally addressed letter to announce the name change of your financial institution.

Yet — no matter how grave the data gets, few people imagine the corporate banking crisis trickling down to average Joe or Jane and their lollipop-dispensing drive-through bank tellers.

It’s not naive to think that, either. The agreement is understood: Money goes into the bank as liquid capital, and comes out as a loan certificate. Practically speaking, your account balance is only as secure as the loans the bank makes with its depositors’ money. The trust in that exchange reflects two main beliefs:

1) Banks know best how to allocate their clients’ money so as to ensure the greatest risk-to-reward ratio.
2) Banks are guaranteed by the Federal government, via the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Well, as the latest report from our complimentary Club EWI service reveals — neither one is as it seems. This 15-page exclusive compiles the most groundbreaking insights from various collected works of EWI president Bob Prechter himself, including: the best-selling book Conquer the Crash and previous Elliott Wave Theorist publications. Off the top are these riveting thought-burners:

How are banks using your money? Not wisely. “At latest count, US banks report $6.942 Trillion in deposits, and $6.945 Trillion in loans. In other words, the average bank in the US has lent out 100% of its deposits.”

Where is your money going? For the most part, it’s tied up in mortgage-backed securities. Last count: One in every 418 U.S. homes have filed for foreclosure, while the rate of default on commercial mortgages doubled in Q4 of 2009. See the problem?

What about the trusted sticker in the front window of US banks assuring that the FDIC guarantees to refund depositor’s losses of up to $100,000? Well, as the Club EWI report reveals, this sticker is merely a “symbol of confidence,” NOT a certainty of it. The piece goes on to add:

“Did you know that most of the FDIC’s money comes from other banks? When the FDIC rescues weak banks by charging healthier ones higher ‘premiums,’ overall bank deposits are depleted, causing the net loan-to-deposit ratio to rise. Ultimately the federal government backs the FDIC, which sounds like a sure thing. But if tax receipts fall, the government will be hard pressed to save a large number of banks with its own diminishing supply of capital. Huge illusions can melt away in a flash if the system fails.”

Where then is a bank I can trust? Here, the Club EWI report provides a list of the Top 100 highest-rated banks in America by state based on third-quarter 2009 data. The publication also reveals the global jurisdictions that “provide wealth preservation service as opposed to interest income and daily transaction conveniences.”

Inside the revealing free report, you’ll discover:

  • The 100 Safest U.S. Banks (2 for each state)
  • Where your money goes after you make a deposit
  • How your fractional-reserve bank works
  • What risks you might be taking by relying on the FDIC’s guarantee

Please protect your money. Download the free 10-page “Safe Banks” report now.

Learn more about the “Safe Banks” report, and download it for free here.


Nico Isaac writes for Elliott Wave International, a market forecasting and technical analysis firm.

Bob Prechter’s “Conquer The Crash”: Eight Chapters For Free

By Nico Isaac

When EWI President Robert Prechter sat down to write the first edition of “Conquer The Crash” in 2002, the idea that the United States would enter a period of what news authorities coined “economic Armageddon” several years later was unheard of.

Flashing back, the major blue-chip averages were rebounding off a historic bottom, the notorious dot.com bust was making way for a powerful housing boom, Fannie Mae’s chief executive was named “the most confident CEO in America,” then President George Bush was enjoying a 60%-plus approval rating, Gulf War II hadn’t begun yet, and when it did, a “quick and easy victory” was supposed to follow, and the Federal Reserve was largely credited with slaying the big, bad bear via the sharp blade of monetary policy.

Five years later, the tables turned. The U.S. housing market endured its worst downturn since the Great Depression; Fannie Mae’s CEO was ousted amidst a mortgage crisis of incalculable damage. George W. Bush left the oval office with a record low approval rating of 25%, and the expected “cakewalk” victory in Iraq became a “quagmire” and national dilemma.

[Read more…]

U.S. Stocks: Will The Bears Relinquish Control?

By Nico Isaac

In case you were hiding out Tiger Woods’ style far away from the mainstream media during the past month, let me be the first to say: January saw an abrupt end to the U.S. stock market’s record-setting winning streak. Last count, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 4% in its worst monthly loss in a year.

And, according to one Feb. 1, 2010, MarketWatch story, “The time to consider an exit strategy” has officially arrived. Here, the article captures the public’s astonishment turned acceptance of the Dow’s boom-to-gloom shift:

“The Dow has shocked the bulls out of their complacency. After all, analysts were looking for the bull market to last until at least the second half of the year. Investors were not prepared for such a sharp decline and now at least some of the chatter has gone from ‘how high will the market go?’ to ‘how low will it fall?’ [emphasis added]
Let me get this straight. The powers that be say it’s time to “consider an exit strategy” — AFTER the Dow has already plunged 700-plus points to land at its lowest level in two months. That’s about as helpful as building a life raft AFTER your ship has begun to sink.

Let me get this straight. The powers that be say it’s time to “consider an exit strategy” — AFTER the Dow has already plunged 700-plus points to land at its lowest level in two months. That’s about as helpful as building a life raft AFTER your ship has begun to sink.

[Read more…]

New Year: New Economic Boom? Why 2010 Should Be One to Remember

The major stock indexes are the wrong place to look


Elliott Wave International’s latest free report puts 2010 into perspective like no other. The Most Important Investment Report You’ll Read in 2010 is a must-read for all independent-minded investors. The 13-page report is available for free download now. Learn more here.


By Nico Isaac

In the realm of market psychology, there’s a big difference between optimism and extreme optimism. The first is seeing the glass half full. The second is seeing the glass half full deep in the heart of a bone-dry desert. In finance, it’s what we call “Buying the Dip” mentality — when all outcomes, even losses, are cause for celebration.

We are there now.

[Read more…]