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Why This Harvard Economist Is Pulling All His Money From Bank Of America

Tyler Durden's picture


A classicial economist... and Harvard professor... preaching to the world that one's money is not safe in the US banking system due to Ben Bernanke's actions? And putting his withdrawal slip where his mouth is and pulling $1 million out of Bank America? Say it isn't so...

From Terry Burnham, former Harvard economics professor, author of “Mean Genes” and “Mean Markets and Lizard Brains,” provocative poster on this page and long-time critic of the Federal Reserve, argues that the Fed’s efforts to strengthen America’s banks have perversely weakened them. First posted in PBS.

Is your money safe at the bank? An economist says ‘no’ and withdraws his

Last week I had over $1,000,000 in a checking account at Bank of America. Next week, I will have $10,000.


Why am I getting in line to take my money out of Bank of America? Because of Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, who officially begins her term as chairwoman on Feb. 1.

Before I explain, let me disclose that I have been a stopped clock of criticism of the Federal Reserve for half a decade. That’s because I believe that when the Fed intervenes in markets, it has two effects — both negative. First, it decreases overall wealth by distorting markets and causing bad investment decisions. Second, the members of the Fed become reverse Robin Hoods as they take from the poor (and unsophisticated) investors and give to the rich (and politically connected). These effects have been noticed; a Gallup poll taken in the last few days reports that only the richest Americans support the Fed. (See the table.)

Gallup poll

Why do I risk starting a run on Bank of America by withdrawing my money and presuming that many fellow depositors will read this and rush to withdraw too? Because they pay me zero interest. Thus, even an infinitesimal chance Bank of America will not repay me in full, whenever I ask, switches the cost-benefit conclusion from stay to flee.

Let me explain: Currently, I receive zero dollars in interest on my $1,000,000. The reason I had the money in Bank of America was to keep it safe. However, the potential cost to keeping my money in Bank of America is that the bank may be unwilling or unable to return my money.

They will not be able to return my money if:

  • Many other depositors like you get in line before me. Banks today promise everyone that they can have their money back instantaneously, but the bank does not actually have enough money to pay everyone at once because they have lent most of it out to other people — 90 percent or more. Thus, banks are always at risk for runs where the depositors at the front of the line get their money back, but the depositors at the back of the line do not. Consider this image from a fully insured U.S. bank, IndyMac in California, just five years ago.

  • Some of the investments of Bank of America go bust. Because Bank of America has loaned out the vast majority of depositors’ money, if even a small percentage of its loans go bust, the firm is at risk for bankruptcy. Leverage, combined with some bad investments, caused the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and would have caused the failure of Bank of America, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, and many more institutions in 2008 had the government not bailed them out.

In recent days, the chances for trouble at Bank of America have become more salient because of woes in the emerging markets, particularly Argentina, Turkey, Russia and China. The emerging market fears caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to lose more than 500 points over the last week.

Returning to my money now entrusted to Bank of America, market turmoil reminded me that this particular trustee is simply not safe. Or not safe enough, given the fact that safety is the reason I put the money there at all. The market turmoil could threaten “BofA” with bankruptcy today as it did in 2008, and as banks have experienced again and again over time.

If the chance that Bank of America will not return my money is, say, a mere 1 percent, then the expected cost to me is 1 percent of my million, or $10,000. That far exceeds the interest I receive, which, I hardly need remind depositors out there, is a cool $0. Even a 0.1 percent chance of loss has an expected cost to me of $1,000. Bank of America pays me the zero interest rate because the Federal Reserve has set interest rates to zero. Thus my incentive to leave at the first whiff of instability.

Surely, you say, the federal government is going to keep its promises, at least on insured deposits. Yes, the Federal Government (via the FDIC) insures deposits in most institutions up to $250,000. But there is a problem with this insurance. The FDIC currently has far less money in its fund than it has insured deposits: as of Sept. 1, about $41 billion in reserve against $6 trillion in insured deposits. (There are over $9 trillion on deposit at U.S. banks, by the way, so more than $3 trillion in deposits is completely uninsured.)

It’s true, of course, that when the FDIC fund risks running dry, as it did in 2009, it can go back to other parts of the federal government for help. I expect those other parts will make the utmost efforts to oblige. But consider the possibility that they may be in crisis at the very same time, for the very same reasons, or that it might take some time to get approval. Remember that Congress voted against the TARP bailout in 2008 before it relented and finally voted for the bailout.

Thus, even insured depositors risk loss and/or delay in recovering their funds. In most time periods, these risks are balanced against the reward of getting interest. Not so long ago, Bank of America would have paid me $1,000 a week in interest on my million dollars. If I were getting $1,000 a week, I might bear the risks of delay and default. However, today I am receiving $0.

So my cash is leaving Bank of America.

But if Bank of America is not safe, you must be wondering, where can you and I put our money? No path is without risk, but here are a few options.

  1. Keep some cash at home, though admittedly this runs the risk of loss or setting yourself up as a target for criminals.

  2. Put some cash in a safety box. There is an urban myth that this is illegal; my understanding is that cash in a safety box is legal. However, I can imagine scenarios where capital controls are placed on safety deposit box withdrawals. And suppose the bank is shut down and you can’t get to the box?

  3. Pay your debts. You don’t need to be Suze Orman to know that you need liquidity, so do not use all your cash to pay debts. However, you can use some surplus, should you have any.

  4. Prepay your taxes and some other obligations. Subject to the same caveat about liquidity, pay ahead. Make sure you only pay safe entities. Your local government is not going away, even in a depression, so, for example, you can prepay property taxes. (I would check with a tax accountant on the implications, however.)

  5. Find a safer bank. Some local, smaller banks are much safer than the “too-big-to-fail banks.” After its mistake of letting Lehman fail, the government has learned that it must try to save giant institutions. However, the government may not be able to save all failing institutions immediately and simultaneously in a crisis. Thus, depositors in big banks face delays and defaults in the event of a true crisis. (It is important to find the right small bank; I believe all big banks are fragile, while some small banks are robust.)

Someone should start a bank (or maybe someone has) that charges (rather than pays) interest and does not make loans. Such a bank would be a good example of how Fed actions create unintended outcomes that defeat their goals. The Fed wants to stimulate lending, but an anti-lending bank could be quite successful. I would be a customer.

(Interestingly, there was a famous anti-lending bank and it was also a “BofA” — the Bank of Amsterdam, founded in 1609. The Dutch BofA charged customers for safe-keeping, did not make loans and did not allow depositors to get their money out immediately. Adam Smith discusses this BofA favorably in his “Wealth of Nations,” published in 1776. Unfortunately — and unbeknownst to Smith — the Bank of Amsterdam had starting secretly making risky loans to ventures in the East Indies and other areas, just like any other bank. When these risky ventures failed, so did the BofA.)

My point is that the Federal Reserve’s actions have myriad, unanticipated, negative consequences. Over the last week, we saw the impact on the emerging markets. The Fed had created $3 trillion of new money in the last five-plus years — three times more than in its entire prior history. A big chunk of that $3 trillion found its way, via private investors and institutions, into risky, emerging markets.

Now that the Fed is reducing (“tapering”) its new money creation (now down to $65 billion a month, or $780 billion a year, as of Wednesday’s announcement), investments are flowing out of risky areas. Some of these countries are facing absolute crises, with Argentina’s currency plummeting by more than 20 percent in under one month. That means investments in Argentina are worth 20 percent less in dollar terms than they were a month ago, even if they held their price in Pesos.

The Fed did not plan to impoverish investors by inducing them to buy overpriced Argentinian investments, of course, but that is one of the costly consequences of its actions. If you lost money in emerging markets over the last week, at one level, it is your responsibility. However, it is not crazy for you to blame the Fed for creating volatile prices that made investing more difficult.

Similarly, if you bought gold at the peak of almost $2,000 per ounce, you have lost one-third of your money; you share the blame for your golden losses with Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen. They removed the opportunities for safe investments and forced those with liquid assets to scramble for what safety they thought they could find. Furthermore, the uncertainty caused by the Fed has caused many assets to swing wildly in value, creating winners and losers.

The Fed played a role in the recent emerging markets turmoil. Next week, they will cause another crisis somewhere else. Eventually, the absurd effort to create wealth through monetary policy will unravel in the U.S. as it has every other time it has been tried from Weimar Germany to Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

Even after the Fed created the housing problems, we would have been better of with a small 2009 depression rather than the larger depression that lies ahead. See my Making Sen$e posts “The Stockholm Syndrome and Printing Money” and “Ben Bernanke as Easter Bunny: Why the Fed Can’t Prevent the Coming Crash” for the details of my argument.

Ever since Alan Greenspan intervened to save the stock market on Oct. 20, 1987, the Fed has sought to cushion every financial blow by adding liquidity. The trouble with trying to make the world safe for stupidity is that it creates fragility.

Bank of America and other big banks are fragile — and vulnerable to bank runs — because the Fed has set interest rates to zero. If a run gathers momentum, the government will take steps to stem it. But I am convinced they have limited ammunition and unlimited problems.

What is the solution? For you, save yourself and your family. For the system, revamp the Federal Reserve. The simplest first step would be to end the dual mandate of price stability and full employment. Price stability is enough. I favor rules over intervention. We don’t need a maestro conducting monetary policy; we need a system that promotes stability and allows people (not printing presses) to make us richer.


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Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:30 | 4390020 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

   The epitome of educational prowess withdrawing from the " All Seeing Eye"?

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:43 | 4390069 THX 1178
THX 1178's picture

Yes. This "classical economist" is starting to sound a lot lot like Mr. Paul... or should I say Mr. von Mises...

I always thought it would be funny (after the collapse) to say "PhDs in economics from harvard are eating dogfood out of dumpsters with their mortarboards on and shit..."

But I guess they aren't all brainwashed...

I guess they aren't all bad eggs...

Live and learn...

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:16 | 4390174 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

He is almost there. He mentions removing their dual mandate, whereas I would remove the fed itself from existence, which would put a decisive end to this 'dual mandate', which might as well be 'ass rape' then 'pick pocket'

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:17 | 4390183 Richard Chesler
Richard Chesler's picture

He sounds as if the emperor is naked. 


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:21 | 4390202 InjectTheVenom
InjectTheVenom's picture

You didn't withdraw that !

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:34 | 4390226 strannick
strannick's picture

Get gold you dumb Harvard bastard.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:18 | 4390342 HoofHearted
HoofHearted's picture

Gold and an AR-10...

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 23:25 | 4390476 cifo
cifo's picture

I would pull my million out too, if I had one....

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 00:54 | 4390624 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


The problem described by this "economist" is the standard problem with all fractional reserve banks.

These banks have demand deposit levels many times the cash actually available should depositors demand their money.

Fractional reserve is a scam, always has been, nothing new.

That he is now declaring an emergency on BofA has got to be his idea of a joke - where was he decades ago on this problem.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 01:50 | 4390718 WarriorClass
WarriorClass's picture

As a "fractional reserve" bankster, I only want to steal part of your money.

Not all of it.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 07:52 | 4390966 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Still waiting the My Gold program.....where I can exchange my IRA for Fort Knox gold.


Gold at $42 an ounce seems like a pretty good deal. I'll do that crap all day long.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 10:08 | 4391080 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



Anyone who keeps $1 million in a BofA checking account is too stupid to give advice on financial matters.


Sat, 02/01/2014 - 10:59 | 4391160 Tom G
Tom G's picture

But because you know better where to store your millions, you're a genius?

He's pulling it out. Maybe he got smarter?

People are far too judgmental in order to appear the most zero-hedgy and anti-establishment of them all!

I liked this guy's statements. But we all can't be as smart as you, perhaps.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 11:52 | 4391231 Doña K
Doña K's picture

I am sure that the guy has more than a million. Instead of keeping it in the bank, I would short the top 5 high flying stocks with no real earnings @ 200k each (you know which ones) and take two year sabbatical arround the world and when the SHTF wake up a multi millionaire.   

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 11:58 | 4391243 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



Tom G

Anyone who keeps more than $250,000 in any single 'bank' account is too stupid to own their money.

The fact that he used to have $1,000,000 in a BofA checking account proves his foolishness.

FDIC insurance limits mean anything to you?


Sat, 02/01/2014 - 12:41 | 4391326 fedupwhiteguy
fedupwhiteguy's picture

you can get additional fdic coverage over your funds by creating additional joint accounts. Such as using your child's or siblings SSN to create the coverage.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 12:43 | 4391329 Creepy Lurker
Creepy Lurker's picture

FDIC insurance means something to you? LOL

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 12:52 | 4391352 donsluck
donsluck's picture

During the crises of '08 FDIC "rules" meant nothing. They insured everything and in fact allowed the investment banks to become covered, converting them to deposit banks under the FDIC umbrella.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 13:02 | 4391364 Tom G
Tom G's picture

You might be missing the point in an effort to prove yourself smarter than the average bear.


He is getting out.

And some of the things he says here ring very true.

How he managed his wealth previously is not known exactly, and it really isn't the point of the article. Either way, I don't need to point out one possibility of his previously foolish behavior to earn points amongst an online community. I enjoyed what he had to say. Did you disagree with the positions in the article, or just his former wealth management techniques (which you might be making assumptions about)?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 13:27 | 4391397 Tom G
Tom G's picture

Phrased differently: Is this guy on the Good Guys' Team, or is he a member of the Bad Guys' Team?

What he wrote indicates the former. How he managed his wealth beforehand is irrelevant. People wake up. Hopefully, more wake up daily. Should we insult all of them?

I used to be a neo-conservative. At some point I realized the error of my ways.

Would you dismiss anything I said about foreign policy because of the mistakes of my youth?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 13:47 | 4391430 Vegamma
Vegamma's picture

I would pull my million out too, if I had one....

I always think I'm going to pull out in time, but well, you know.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 14:26 | 4391510 Duke of Earl
Duke of Earl's picture

He's trying to protect his dollars against a scenario where major US backed banks would be unable to deliver and where the FDIC (government) cannot pay its insurance...and still thinks keeping it in dollars is a good idea.

In that scenario, he'll have a bunch of toilet paper with presidents pictures on it.  But hey, it will be in his mattress rather than a banksters!

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 06:37 | 4410968 Jafo
Jafo's picture

When the SHTF happens it is not going to be a sudden transition to an end state.  It is going to be a process.  Yes, gold will be the last asset standing but before the US Dollar becomes worthless it is going to have massive purchasing power.  Just before the end physical dollars that have that property, not the digital dollars in the banks.  This is the point he is making.  Because of generations of conditioning physical dollars will buy you food and gas but credit cards will not be accepted and neither will gold be accepted by the super markets and the gas stations.  Anyone holding gold without a buffer of cold hard cash is going to be stripped of their gold.  Man, that would hurt.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 00:03 | 4392808 Cynicles
Cynicles's picture

Harvard Grads that come to mind:

O'Riely, Øbama & this guy. 

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 12:10 | 4393408 Bindar Dundat
Bindar Dundat's picture

Might be tempted to do all of the above as well as put 2-3%  into crptocurriencies , just in case.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 02:39 | 4390779 irishlink
irishlink's picture

Read between the lines. He has lost big on EM investements and down. 30% in dollar terms over the past year In Gold. In that scenario I would be very concerned for my million also. He is blaming ZIRP for luring him into bad investment . He is right and definitely not alone. The system is very fragile at this time.. Luxury good sales are down and the wealthy are trying to place their wealth into hard assets. Running scared!!!

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 06:17 | 4390914 samcontrol
samcontrol's picture

sometimes the rich don't run because they don't give a fuck.
I got hammered on my pms las year , yet I do not run, i go full retard and buy miners and agq options like never before. do or die, no running mate.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 10:07 | 4391079 Panem et Circus
Panem et Circus's picture


Sat, 02/01/2014 - 07:09 | 4390946 new game
new game's picture

That fear has mom and pop doing funny things like buying that 80 acres over der. shit you not.

they have and are wise and worked hard-10percenters and as one said to me"i'll be damned if i'm going to lose my money i've worked my whole life for".

others are buying rentals in the city even if returns 5 percent. evidenced by my trying to do the same. vooosh gone last fall.

other classes of assets:gold, art, collectables, antiques, guns, cars.

wish i could stock pile some oil

no easy ride for you and me as we are  not part of the "club"...

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 10:08 | 4391081 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Correction: classic cars.  Or perhaps older 4x4 trucks.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 11:52 | 4391237 Doña K
Doña K's picture

Rust fear!

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 09:33 | 4391037 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

Nothing he wrote - to my mind - even indirectly says he personally lost out on these investments.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 02:49 | 4390796 Theosebes Goodfellow
Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

The crime, Pinto, is not fractional reserve banking. The crime is duration mismatch. It's borrowing short and lending long. That's the crime.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 05:23 | 4390878 nixy
nixy's picture

Would 'duration mismatch' be visable if FRB was made a hanging offence?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 10:50 | 4391147 Hail Spode
Hail Spode's picture

Fractional reserve banking?   Is that what you call it?  Where are the reserves?   That's the problem.  Or half of it.  The other problem is that should the banker's investments work out, they keep the profits, should they fail to work out, the funds are replaced at taxpayer expense.   

Bankers should be held personally liable for the assets of the bank, as in Switzerland, where they don't have these sorts of problems.   In addition, there should be a 20% reserve requirement, 5 to 1 leverage, not 55 to 1 as we have seen recently.  

The real problem is not fractional reserve banking, because in order to have FRB one must have reserves.  5 to 1 leverage is FRB, 55 to 1 is insanity.   20% reserve requirement, and when the value of their lending book drops so that it can't cover the other 80%, the bankers personally (they could buy private insurance) make up the rest.

That and many other thought-provoking ideas found here


Sat, 02/01/2014 - 13:17 | 4391378 Spanky
Spanky's picture


For... an intriguing post.

Thanks for the link.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 23:42 | 4392762 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"Bankers should be held personally liable for the assets of the bank"

To take that even one step further - in the "Old Days" (think before the 1930's) the banks shareholders were also financially liable for bank malfeasance!  That would make you think twice about which banks you would invest in, wouldn't it?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 03:05 | 4390812 SeattleBruce
SeattleBruce's picture

I'm sorry - he wants to prepay taxes as one of his alternatives? Gong on that one. Some of his other observations were much better than that.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 11:04 | 4391168 buckethead
buckethead's picture

Perhaps that comment was merely "playing well with others" in an attempt to avoid the tin foil dunce cap which is foisted upon all who reject fractional reserve banking and government confiscation outright. After all... He remains a Harvard Professor.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 11:38 | 4391211 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

daeth and taxes are sure things

and he is talking about protecting his money, not making money from his money

given that caveat, prepaying taxes isnt a horrible idea at all

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 09:15 | 4391019 Thomas
Thomas's picture

I agree with him in principle, but I am gonna take the unpopular role of devils advocate. All he is really saying is that fractional reserve banking has a fragile foundation that lends itself to bank runs. I didn't get any real insight into the current situation. Something tells me this guy is a few stocks short of an index.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 09:34 | 4391040 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

I'm out of line with him and most others but it seems to me that a bank run can be handled by just ramping up the printers.


Am I wrong?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 10:10 | 4391082 Panem et Circus
Panem et Circus's picture

Would be much easier the Cyprus way. It's all digital, nobody has more than $100 cash in their wallets anymore. Just flip the "no-no" switch and stop a run before it starts.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 11:05 | 4391173 buckethead
buckethead's picture

He actually posed that scenario as plausible, but not entirely effective due to response time.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 00:17 | 4390562 DIgnified
DIgnified's picture

Save your money on the AR.  Have you looked at what's buying them?  The kind of guy (read people) that buys a Harley but is to scared to ride it.  They'll be laying around everywhere a few days after suffering starts.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 04:48 | 4390862 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

If you're a real survivor, all you need is a good knife...  

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 05:16 | 4390875 mt paul
mt paul's picture

and a piece of flint..

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 05:40 | 4390887 ebear
ebear's picture

and a hot chick in a fur bikini

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 06:19 | 4390916 samcontrol
samcontrol's picture

check, check, and check.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 07:13 | 4390953 new game
new game's picture

rolling papers, cofee, no booze-don't drink, camo, lots of quality clothes and shoes/boots

and the staples...check check > check.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 07:28 | 4390962 samcontrol
samcontrol's picture

no booze? dont't drink?
next thing you are gonna say is stop smoking weed...

I stash huge amounts of wine,scotch,weed. and home made jams.
somewhat a gay hobby..

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 07:52 | 4390972 CoonT
CoonT's picture

Those green cardboard tubes are a currency, recognized the world over! 

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 12:53 | 4391353 NemoDeNovo
NemoDeNovo's picture

I have plenty of da kind bud [and seeds] put away and Chuck Norris, I am Good.  Nothing can trump Chuck Norris. 

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 09:46 | 4391052 headhunt
headhunt's picture

First rule of fight club!

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 08:57 | 4391013 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Gryphon M10

It's never failed me in almost 20 years and there are no moving parts. The blade is actually under 4" and it passes legal muster in places where anti-dagger/dirk laws prevail just as easily as it penetrates thick winter outerwear.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 10:15 | 4391085 Dugald
Dugald's picture


If you are a real survivor all you need is a Chopstick.......

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 11:42 | 4391217 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

a real survivor only needs someone somewhere to have a chopstick

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 12:16 | 4391270 Theosebes Goodfellow
Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

A true, real survivor only needs a picture of a chopstick, pinned to a wall, inside his impregnable, super-secret, hidden, 10 year fully-stocked, fortress-lair with a sexy-bee-atches harem, printed on very sharp paper. ~


Sorry man, I just couldn't resist.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 12:52 | 4391347 NemoDeNovo
NemoDeNovo's picture

I need NONE of that, I have Chuck Norris on my side.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 17:07 | 4391782 sandblaster
sandblaster's picture

.300 Blackout

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:20 | 4390346 InjectTheVenom
InjectTheVenom's picture

... and , a surprise IRS audit arrives in Mr Burnham's mailbox in  3 ... 2 ... 1    .  .  .  .  . .

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:33 | 4390376 101 years and c...
101 years and counting's picture

or, call him an enemy combatant or traitor.  anyone willing to tell the truth must flee this country or risk imminent arrest and/or death. ie, snowden.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 01:46 | 4390712 mumcard
mumcard's picture

Poor bastard probably drives one of them exploding German sedans.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 07:55 | 4390974 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Those things are actually pretty safe when it comes to pedestrians.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 11:51 | 4391233 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

Ahhh the good old days of eating at Houston's in El Segundo watching the folks line up at Indymac for a shot at their cash...

P.S. Los Angeles is a shithole.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 13:15 | 4391377 fedupwhiteguy
fedupwhiteguy's picture

We preferred The Patio. And I'm grateful I haven't had to do that "wait in line" crap for my money. I have been seeing Fells Wargo implementing subtle restrictions lately. I'm actually getting ready to close out that account.


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:19 | 4390192 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

Terry Burnham:

"We are hostages to the destructive actions of central banks. Printing money destroys value. The puzzle is not economic, but rather psychological. Why do we allow Central Bankers to make us poorer and endanger us physically?

The answer lies in our non-rational brains. One aspect of our psychology, labeled the Stockholm Syndrome, is the human propensity to develop positive feelings towards captors in a form of traumatic bonding.

Nils Bejerot coined the phrase after a 1973 Stockholm bank robbery where four hostages were held for close to a week. Even after being released, the hostages showed sympathy for the robber, and blamed the police. The most famous U.S. incident is that of Patty Hearst, who joined the organization that kidnapped her and took part in a bank robbery with her abductors.

The phrase “economy supported by central banks” generates more than half a billion Google hits. Can it really be true that printing money is going to make us rich? No.

Printing money can destroy an economy, or its effects can be close to neutral. Destruction occurs when the money printing severely distorts economic decision-making."

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 08:29 | 4390998 Debt-Is-Not-Money
Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

Didn't our 1st treasury secretary Hamilton say that "debt is a blessing"?

British asshole agent!

Aaron Burr was too late.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 00:05 | 4392815 Cynicles
Cynicles's picture

We need another bad ass POTUS like Jackson.

Interesting how everytime a President threatens the Central bank there is a hit put on them.  

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 09:03 | 4391017 -.-
-.-'s picture

Who the fuck is this professor speaking to? Or, is it that his intellect and fiscal prowess has convinced him that my overworked, unionized busdriver on the 1M northbound is on ZH after his shift to read about what to do with his $1,000,000?

Fuck you---you penguin-looking muthafucka

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 09:49 | 4391059 headhunt
headhunt's picture

'overworked, unionized busdriver' - Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha....!!!!!!

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:14 | 4390172 Frank -THE COIN -
Frank -THE COIN -'s picture

I love it when Closet Zero Hedgers Come Out.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:50 | 4390273 Cursive
Cursive's picture


I'm not sure I'd admit him into Fight Club.  What good will $1M do if we have societal meltdown?  If he would just think it through a little bit, if we accept his premise that "they" (i.e. .gov) are out of firepower to stop bank runs, then you must also accept the premise that social conditions will be so bad that .gov will declare martial law and we'll be eating food rations.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 01:47 | 4390714 mumcard
mumcard's picture

Hopefully he's investing in precious metals such as gold, silver, brass and lead.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 02:44 | 4390775 Frank -THE COIN -
Frank -THE COIN -'s picture


 + 1

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 04:03 | 4390848 X_mloclaM
X_mloclaM's picture

sound of thick chalk softly echoing off poly-technic cement block soothes

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 10:25 | 4391103 thestarl
thestarl's picture

And property with a view to actually owning it some day.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 07:48 | 4390971 The Heart
The Heart's picture

"...,then you must also accept the premise that social conditions will be so bad that .gov will declare martial law and we'll be eating food rations."

Coming to a theater near you soon, and brought to you by those good ol boys and girlz of the UN Banksters Blue.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 10:14 | 4391084 headhunt
headhunt's picture

You mean TSA blue

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 12:20 | 4391274 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Don’t Sell Your Hair to a Wig Shop*

When you get slick advice, you lose money.  When you lose money, you get depressed.  When you get depressed, you go to Wall St. seminars.  When you go to seminars, you feel like a winner.  

When you feel like a winner, you go to a Wall St. Casino and lose your money.  When you lose your money, you end up selling your hair to a wig shop.

Don't sell your hair to a wig shop.  Upgrade to ZH-TV.

* DirecTV add

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:58 | 4390269 Millivanilli
Millivanilli's picture

I noticed he didn't make mention of this 



Bank Of America Forces Depositors To Backstop Its $53 Trillion Derivative Book To Prevent A Few Clients From Departing The Bank


Seriously, this asshole is just waking up to money printing, zirp, the insolvency of govts, the ponzi nature of fractional banking and the ultimate risk of a bank run.  For fucks sake, I'll bet you could pound a rusty nail through his nuts and he'd hardly flinch.


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:10 | 4390323 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

If we knew the full extent of the fraud, dangerous deals and corruption going on there WOULD be bank runs starting tomorrow morning.  After this thing crumbles the stories will start to be told and we'll realize, finally, that we were all living through the biggest age of lies and corruption ever seen on the face of the earth.

Even ZH members will stand in shocked amazement that their conspriacy theories (and conspiracy facts) didn't even come close to capturing the full horror of it.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 09:44 | 4391050 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

Henry also pointed the finger clearly at who's behind it.  Cue end of financing for the FMC.  He came back grovelling.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 05:55 | 4390898 spdrdr
spdrdr's picture

When the SHTF, I suspect that there will not be that many current ZH members/readers at all.

Many former ZH members will, I agree, stand in shocked amazement. 


Sat, 02/01/2014 - 06:22 | 4390918 samcontrol
samcontrol's picture

am I the only one hiding on a mountain in patagonia?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 12:28 | 4391302 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

No you are not alone.

I am watching you with my Leupold Ecos-0 while I type.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 00:16 | 4390565 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

I wouldn't necessarily call him an asshole because he is just now becoming aware of this( although he may well be one for other reasons). Better late than never, because the realization will never occur to most people. We should welcome his newfound awareness and hope he is able to influence others. After all, if this message is reaching all the way to someone of his background, who you would expect to be charging FOARWARD soviet with the rest of his ivory tower colleagues, maybe the message really is spreading.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 00:54 | 4390629 acetinker
acetinker's picture

Hey Carl,

Just wondering if you've heard the name of Damon Vrabel.  Your demeanor suggests you have, but just in case.

He's West Point, Harvard and Mars Hill seminary.  In short, he's about the last person I'd expect to agree with on this planet.  Yet, here he is:

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 05:32 | 4390879 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

His suggestion about non lending banks is naive including non-bank private safe deposit boxes which have been raided under the pretext of money laundering and drug money.

TPTB will not license or insure these types of businesses. If these banks are holding cash money they need insurance for fire and theft or disaster, if they hold electronic money they run the same risk as you with regular banks.

If one had this kind of money, should buy the strongest and highest fire-rated safe deposit box and have it in a hidden sprinklered room at ground level.

For most of us with a lot less, two smaller safes one well hidden and the other very well hidden will suffice. The well hidden should have some cash and two 2 gold coins and the very well hidden should have the rest.

You can also buy welding blankets to wrap your cash with 2200 degree rating

 So mouthing off like that does not make sense. Starting a bank run is also a crime.




Sat, 02/01/2014 - 13:18 | 4391382 akak
akak's picture


Starting a bank run is also a crime.

Which only proves the inherent fragility and fraudulence of the FR banking system.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 10:18 | 4391095 Panem et Circus
Panem et Circus's picture

Agreed. While it feels good to say "where the hell where you fx years ago?" It is a bit self righteous. We were not all woken up at the same time, the important thing is the number of us and the degree by which we are awake.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 10:42 | 4391122 -.-
-.-'s picture

That's what's up...


I've made it through eleven years of foster care and nine years of hard jobs---I'm happy and that should be known. But, I also was able to make it to college on scholarship to study ecnomics and mathematics. I took from that institution what I did and I have found more out in the fields of hard labor too. And, so, it upsets me when I see a story such as this from a Harvard professor who will fundamentally miss his point simply because he (what? hasn't listened to enough James Brown or Above the Law?) does not know how to get on the real with people. They'll have a very hard time hearing you...


And, one last thing, just to ensure that this is still a Fight Club: to that fool HeadHunt, RealRecognizeReal...


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:01 | 4390309 Late onset ADHD
Late onset ADHD's picture

No need to panic until Rick Santelli shaves his head, puts on an orange monk's robe and gets out a bic lighter... until then it's just carnival barking.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 01:42 | 4390708 Spanky
Spanky's picture


For... oh hell that's good.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 02:32 | 4390770 Late onset ADHD
Late onset ADHD's picture

Thx Spank... actually I am waiting for someone to speak truthfully enough to get the "realtime-live-showbiz hook". Won't hold my breath though.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:17 | 4390333 National Blessing
National Blessing's picture

The BOA is broke.  But so are all the major banks.  They are still sitting on piles of dogshit.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:28 | 4390365 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

All big banks are just clean front ends to the largest bad bank in the history of the world the US FED

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:39 | 4390387 Millivanilli
Millivanilli's picture

It sure was nice for daddy warbucks to buy all those shit mbs off the banksters.  The real estate boom is going to make those securities priceless.  Just priceless.   sarc off.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:29 | 4390366 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



Educational prowess - I can't stop laughing - this guy a Harvard Economist had a million dollars in his account - FDIC Insurance even if it was solvent only covers $250 thousand.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 23:18 | 4390464 piliage
piliage's picture

It could be a straw man argument to make the case of the lack of savings accounts with interest costs savers money (in easy math), or the guy didn't want to be in equities?

He could always buy tangible assets and lay 10% short...but what the hell do I know, I'm not a Harvard economist.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 23:46 | 4390518 Homernomics
Homernomics's picture

Yeah, I stopped reading at "Last week I had $1,000,000 in a checking account..."

Checking accounts earn 0%, credibility of this article is questionable at best.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 06:13 | 4390911 samcontrol
samcontrol's picture

the author actually says , a small bank is safer than to big to fail banks...
i do not agree.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 08:12 | 4390987 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture




Checking accounts earn 0%


Mine pays interest.....who the hell are you banking with?


Sounds like you're getting screwed to need to shop around.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 00:51 | 4392903 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

I agree, I get the strong impression it's phoney. It's not believable; it's actually a little insulting, being directed at people with so little knowledge of what wealthy people do and don't do; as to imply that the audience is a bunch of hosers.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 00:34 | 4390592 spine001
spine001's picture

Harvard educated people would know that FDIC covers 250,000 PER depositor and Pay on death beneficiary, so if he had the account in his name and his wife with their two kids as POD beneficiaries, he'd be covered for 1,000,000.00$

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 11:13 | 4391181 machineh
machineh's picture

On top of that, when it comes to his five alternatives, he doesn't even mention T-bills.

Every corporate treasurer faces the problem of balances exceeding FDIC limits ... ergo, T-bills.

Wonder whether this guy was George W. Bush's professor at Harvard Biz School: the blind leading the retarded, as it were!

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:46 | 4390390 anonnn
anonnn's picture

Note: not a single mention of FRAUD, as the matter is made to appear so complicated that there were only mistakes in good-faith judgement.

The pose as an investigator or expert analyst is just that. At worst, pure artifice or at best, automaticity to  justify past deeds/wealth accumulation that escaped prosecution.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 04:03 | 4390847 Ranger4564
Ranger4564's picture

Often it's not that ZH or other public spokespersons don't believe there to be fraud, it's just very hard to prove it, and they can't publicly accuse fraud when they can't prove it. Slander / libel.

Since I'm not really a public spokesperson, I can agree with you, there was fraud, there is fraud, and there will be fraud as long as it's more profitable to defraud than to live and work tirelessly, or to live in a more advanced civilization.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 23:23 | 4390475 Zadok
Zadok's picture

I guess his 'Elite' stipend was not high enough...or perhaps he is doing whathe is paid to do? Gin up some fear bro!

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 23:37 | 4390496 Hal n back
Hal n back's picture

a classic schmuck for keeping 1 million in an bank with only 250k of insurance at best.


Sat, 02/01/2014 - 07:39 | 4390939 The Heart
The Heart's picture




Sat, 02/01/2014 - 09:20 | 4391024 Jannn
Jannn's picture

Chinese Gold Rush Heating Up. SGE withdrawals 216 tons YTD

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 13:28 | 4391396 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

Harvard = Obama's s chool .... hmmmmmmm


That worked out well for us




Sun, 02/02/2014 - 00:56 | 4392907 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Affirmative action; you have to read up on it; it's absolutely staggering; they'll take a completely mentally dysfunctional person and lead them by the hand through the institution; including letting them take tests over again, and etc. atc. It's absolutely sickening.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:29 | 4390024 Silver Garbage Man
Silver Garbage Man's picture

Everybody sooner or later had to admit the titanic was really sinking.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:40 | 4390060 Charles Wilson
Charles Wilson's picture

"No...The ocean was tipping towards the front..."


- Ben Bernanke

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:45 | 4390074 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"The excess liquidity flooding the ship will save us from the cold air."  -The Bernanke.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:50 | 4390091 sixsigma cygnus...
sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

"Liquidity?  You're soaking in it." - Bernanke's housekeeper, Madge.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:52 | 4390093 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"Don't squeeze the Charmin [dollars]". - Mr. Whipple B. Bernanke.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 02:28 | 4390766 prains
prains's picture

"Yes baby, please squeeze the Charmin" - Bernank to Mrs. Bernank. (question who shaves first in the morning?)

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:58 | 4390110 Debt-Is-Not-Money
Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

Including the rats, but they had nowhere to go!

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:16 | 4390180 Silver Garbage Man
Silver Garbage Man's picture

I can't imagine trying to sleep with a million bucks sitting in a checking account.
Are you fucking 20 kg of gold!

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 23:53 | 4390523 Zero Debt
Zero Debt's picture

And as usual, the lower class knew it first, while the captain and the socialites on the sundeck were the last ones to know.

History rhymes.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 07:00 | 4390941 The Heart
The Heart's picture

If too many people are on the wrong side of the island, it will tip over and capsize.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 14:07 | 4391469 fedupwhiteguy
fedupwhiteguy's picture

that nigga is wacked!@@! This is a good example of FSA voters in states other than our own affect each and everyone of us, every freakin day!

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:32 | 4390027 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

So if he really is putting his money where his mouth is, he'll invest it in his other Harvard brethren's saving scheme as a vote fo confidence aka MyRA.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:38 | 4390052 GoldSilverWolf
GoldSilverWolf's picture

When I see references to MyRa I can't help but think of MyRa Hindley.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:54 | 4390098 Jena
Jena's picture

I can't help but think of "Myra Breckenbridge". 

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:37 | 4390237 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

MyRA - Myrage - Mirage

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 23:20 | 4390465 yogibear
yogibear's picture

MyRA is ourRA.

All that money put in is gone, Just IOUs, like the SS trust fund.


Sat, 02/01/2014 - 03:25 | 4390825 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Yep, my Our their.....all the same as long as there is giving and taking going on....

Amd I read it as the SS turd fund...


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:40 | 4390245 WmMcK
WmMcK's picture

Mae West

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 02:51 | 4390797 irishlink
irishlink's picture

Look up the name Myra . The symbol for it is very similar to the all seeing eye. Coincidence ?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 14:11 | 4391472 fedupwhiteguy
fedupwhiteguy's picture

nice reference Jena. a tgirl before her time.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 07:09 | 4390945 The Heart
The Heart's picture

"When I see references to MyRa I can't help but think of MyRa Hindley."

The Hindu folks call it the Maya...the illusion...or even more properly put...the DELUSION!


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:32 | 4390028 Smuckers
Smuckers's picture

He should make sure he steers clear of 33 floor buildings and steep embankments for awhile.
Just sayin.


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:55 | 4390099 Jena
Jena's picture

All sharp objects and hot tubs, too.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:48 | 4390270 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



Bridges and Balconies

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 23:40 | 4390504 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Embankments have been quite perilous recently as well.


Sat, 02/01/2014 - 00:21 | 4390569 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

Miffed: EmBANKments. See the connection? The poor fucker should have consulted a Hollywood stuntman and his broker before attempting such a leap. Hell, even at my advanced age and dimentia I can still roll down a 40' rock-slewn slope while drunk and taking a piss at the same time.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:15 | 4392241 drdolittle
drdolittle's picture

Me too but I'd have piss all over my hands and some big purple bruises.

Wouldn't kill me though. And, I'd have some hard belly laughs as well.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 09:18 | 4391023 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Ya Miffed - That banker embankment story reminded me of video games like Battlefield 1942 where you fell 3 feet off a wall and died...

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:09 | 4390158 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

"Similarly, if you bought gold at the peak of almost $2,000 per ounce, you have lost one-third of your money; you share the blame for your golden losses with Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen."

and if you bought it $300 then who do i blame? still got one foot in their Matrix...

and safe deposti boxes?????

oh well, at least he's sort of on the right path....

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:17 | 4390184 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

Probably shouldn't use any of that million to buy a new Mercedes either. I hear those new models aren't very safe for certain people...

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:44 | 4390257 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

High end Porsches as well.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:50 | 4390279 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



whose Porshie went full retard?

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:42 | 4390393 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



I can see lighting one of these up on a cocaine off the ass of hookers binge.

LOTS of hookers.


Good Day at the Office Honey?




Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:34 | 4390037 random shots
random shots's picture

I am having a bigger problem with an economist with $1,000,000 in his checking account.  All that wasted money paid to some dart throwing monkey with a fancy slip of paper (degree) to guess.  Money could have been better spent investing in projects that return a positive ROI. 

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