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Author Topic: Can bitcoin fill the void in a bank run?  (Read 3411 times)
Trader Steve
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July 11, 2011, 08:48:20 PM
 #1

Reading the following article and got to thinking how those of us holding bitcoin and bullion (vs. bank deposits) would be in pretty good shape should the following event happen:

What An American Bank Run Would Look Like

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/what-american-bank-run-would-look
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July 11, 2011, 09:27:21 PM
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Quote from: Trader Steve
Can bitcoin fill the void in a bank run?

No.
It cant do nothing to prevent the difficulties of a bank run while it is happening.
Things went wrong long before that.
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July 11, 2011, 09:33:06 PM
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Reading the following article and got to thinking how those of us holding bitcoin and bullion (vs. bank deposits) would be in pretty good shape should the following event happen:

What An American Bank Run Would Look Like

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/what-american-bank-run-would-look

nice reference Steve.

this is actually the crux of the debate about what will happen to the USD in the next crisis (which just might happen to be upon us). 

in 2007-09 i shorted the broad stock mkt correctly but my call on commodities was incorrect as i thought gold, silver, and PM stocks would rise.  not so.  we had an outright deflationary wave that almost took out the entire US economy and the USD and UST's paradoxically rallied.  this only lasted about 6-8 mo and is an episode we have rarely seen in US history.  this was very educational for me and i think we may be on the precipice of another deflationary wave which will be longer and deeper than 2008.  this goes against all conventional wisdom but if you read this article carefully and understand what its saying, the USD will rise once again and not stop until all the bad debt is washed out.

my fear for Bitcoin is that it gets taken down as well since one could argue it is an inflationary reaction to all the quantitative easing we've had the last 3 yrs.  i fear this even more a network protocol break.
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July 11, 2011, 09:51:07 PM
 #4

my fear for Bitcoin is that it gets taken down as well since one could argue it is an inflationary reaction to all the quantitative easing we've had the last 3 yrs.  i fear this even more a network protocol break.

My fear as well.  However, in the event things get even worse, I'd like to be as diversified as possible.  BTC is just another layer of diversification for me.  Fortuntely, a vast majority of my wealth isn't in BTC so if things getting better with the global economy is the worst case scenario for BTC, I guess I can deal with that.

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Bitcoin_Silver_Supply
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July 11, 2011, 10:15:17 PM
 #5

my fear for Bitcoin is that it gets taken down as well since one could argue it is an inflationary reaction to all the quantitative easing we've had the last 3 yrs.  i fear this even more a network protocol break.

My fear as well.  However, in the event things get even worse, I'd like to be as diversified as possible.  BTC is just another layer of diversification for me.  Fortuntely, a vast majority of my wealth isn't in BTC so if things getting better with the global economy is the worst case scenario for BTC, I guess I can deal with that.

BTCs value would undoubtedly not be this high (or previously in the 30s) if not for the weakness of the global economy. That said, it seems like a turnaround is a long ways away. Whatever happens, diversification is always the best bet and a lot of people seem to forget this when excited about a new opportunity.
Trader Steve
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July 11, 2011, 11:25:30 PM
 #6

@cypherdoc: Yes, I too was amazed to see the the USD and Treasuries soar while gold and silver plummeted during the '08 crisis but the next time around (as alluded to in the article) it would be the dollar itself that gets broken. It wouldn't be its' own "safe-haven".

I see how there could be demand for physical dollars but the reason there would be a demand is so that people could get out of them and convert them into a stronger currency. So what I see, in the scenario described in the article, is that the physical dollar would still drop against all other currencies (otherwise there wouldn't be a bank run in the first place) but the digital dollars would drop dramatically more in value.

A recent example is Argentina during the debt default of 2000. The peso lost 60% +/- against the dollar. There was still a huge demand for physical pesos but the banks simply closed while the value of the peso continued to drop. Physical cash virtually disappeared and people had to resort to barter if they didn't have US dollars or pesos to trade with.

So this time around the dollar wouldn't be the "safe haven", it would be what everyone is trying to get out of. Because of this I can see bitcoin and precious metals rising significantly as the new "barterable items of choice" since most Americans don't hold other currencies (at least in Argentina a lot of people held US dollars). But I could be missing something.
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July 11, 2011, 11:30:01 PM
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A bank run like the ones that happened pre-fed days are not likely to happen, because the Fed backs all banks 100%. If people start withdrawing cash like crazy from their bank accounts, the Fed simply orders cash to be printed as it is necessary. Of course people would be holding on to pieces of paper with nothing to actually back it up.
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July 11, 2011, 11:41:06 PM
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A bank run like the ones that happened pre-fed days are not likely to happen, because the Fed backs all banks 100%. If people start withdrawing cash like crazy from their bank accounts, the Fed simply orders cash to be printed as it is necessary. Of course people would be holding on to pieces of paper with nothing to actually back it up.

Yes, but the point is that they don't have that much physical cash on hand to meet the demand. Cranking up the printing presses requires some lead time. During that interim period banks would likely shut down and barter would be order of the day. But I could be wrong... Smiley
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July 11, 2011, 11:44:33 PM
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@cypherdoc: Yes, I too was amazed to see the the USD and Treasuries soar while gold and silver plummeted during the '08 crisis but the next time around (as alluded to in the article) it would be the dollar itself that gets broken. It wouldn't be its' own "safe-haven".

I see how there could be demand for physical dollars but the reason there would be a demand is so that people could get out of them and convert them into a stronger currency. So what I see, in the scenario described in the article, is that the physical dollar would still drop against all other currencies (otherwise there wouldn't be a bank run in the first place) but the digital dollars would drop dramatically more in value.

A recent example is Argentina during the debt default of 2000. The peso lost 60% +/- against the dollar. There was still a huge demand for physical pesos but the banks simply closed while the value of the peso continued to drop. Physical cash virtually disappeared and people had to resort to barter if they didn't have US dollars or pesos to trade with.

So this time around the dollar wouldn't be the "safe haven", it would be what everyone is trying to get out of. Because of this I can see bitcoin and precious metals rising significantly as the new "barterable items of choice" since most Americans don't hold other currencies (at least in Argentina a lot of people held US dollars). But I could be missing something.

A good argument could be made for bitcoin appreciating dramatically more than precious metals because it can be traded across space and time electronically. Physical gold and silver couldn't do this. Simply put, bitcoin is easier to carry, protect and trade with. It is arguably a better medium of exchange when compared to physical gold and silver.
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July 11, 2011, 11:50:25 PM
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Can bitcoin fill the void in a bank run?

No. Next question?  Grin
Trader Steve
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July 12, 2011, 02:04:45 PM
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@cypherdoc: Yes, I too was amazed to see the the USD and Treasuries soar while gold and silver plummeted during the '08 crisis but the next time around (as alluded to in the article) it would be the dollar itself that gets broken. It wouldn't be its' own "safe-haven".

I see how there could be demand for physical dollars but the reason there would be a demand is so that people could get out of them and convert them into a stronger currency. So what I see, in the scenario described in the article, is that the physical dollar would still drop against all other currencies (otherwise there wouldn't be a bank run in the first place) but the digital dollars would drop dramatically more in value.

A recent example is Argentina during the debt default of 2000. The peso lost 60% +/- against the dollar. There was still a huge demand for physical pesos but the banks simply closed while the value of the peso continued to drop. Physical cash virtually disappeared and people had to resort to barter if they didn't have US dollars or pesos to trade with.

So this time around the dollar wouldn't be the "safe haven", it would be what everyone is trying to get out of. Because of this I can see bitcoin and precious metals rising significantly as the new "barterable items of choice" since most Americans don't hold other currencies (at least in Argentina a lot of people held US dollars). But I could be missing something.

The following articles illustrate this point:

A Run on the United States Government
http://lewrockwell.com/rozeff/rozeff359.html

and

John Williams Exclusive - US Dollar Selling and Hyperinflation
http://preview.tinyurl.com/5wxbger
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July 12, 2011, 02:45:47 PM
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AHHHHH, don't lie to these people that FRN is not backed by anything. it is backed by none other than guns.

and a bank run would collapse if there was enough cash either way, if everyone had got their cash, there would be hyperinflation, and if people didn't get their money, you might even see some small scale revolution. I wish, but that is probably far from likely because most in the US are pussies, and i can say that because i am in the US.

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July 12, 2011, 04:38:06 PM
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In a bank run, the fractional reserve lending money multiplier works in reverse.  Money disappears and goes to money heaven. There is a mad scramble for cash as in dollars to meet existing obligations. Prices plummet.

The best technology in this scenario is Ripple, which increases the credit part of the money supply.  http://ripple-project.org/
Ripple CAN be used with bitcoin.

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July 12, 2011, 04:50:10 PM
 #14

A bank run like the ones that happened pre-fed days are not likely to happen, because the Fed backs all banks 100%. If people start withdrawing cash like crazy from their bank accounts, the Fed simply orders cash to be printed as it is necessary. Of course people would be holding on to pieces of paper with nothing to actually back it up.

Yes, but the point is that they don't have that much physical cash on hand to meet the demand. Cranking up the printing presses requires some lead time. During that interim period banks would likely shut down and barter would be order of the day. But I could be wrong... Smiley

Wait, I thought FDIC, or federal deposit insurance, that banks actually pay premiums into, is where the money to cover bank runs comes from, not newly printer dollars?

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July 12, 2011, 06:05:47 PM
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You're taking your advice from an article writen by "Tyler Durden"?

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July 12, 2011, 06:08:29 PM
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A bank run like the ones that happened pre-fed days are not likely to happen, because the Fed backs all banks 100%. If people start withdrawing cash like crazy from their bank accounts, the Fed simply orders cash to be printed as it is necessary. Of course people would be holding on to pieces of paper with nothing to actually back it up.

Yes, but the point is that they don't have that much physical cash on hand to meet the demand. Cranking up the printing presses requires some lead time. During that interim period banks would likely shut down and barter would be order of the day. But I could be wrong... Smiley

Wait, I thought FDIC, or federal deposit insurance, that banks actually pay premiums into, is where the money to cover bank runs comes from, not newly printer dollars?

FDIC covers the consumer from loss, not the bank. however if there was ever a very serious problem the federal reserve will funnel cash directly into the banks, likely causing hyperinflation.

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July 12, 2011, 06:21:01 PM
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Wait, I thought FDIC, or federal deposit insurance, that banks actually pay premiums into, is where the money to cover bank runs comes from, not newly printer dollars?
It doesn't cover a bank run, it covers deposits in the event of insolvency (which can help prevent bank runs).  The banks do pay an insurance premium and the FDIC uses that insurance fund to cover deposits and resolve failed banks, however the fund, as of the end of 2010 had a negative balance of about $7.3bln (it was over $20bln in the red at the end of 2009).  Shortly after the 2008 crisis they had to raise the premiums they charge banks to cover the shortfall.  Note: the FDIC itself is backed by the US gov't, so when the fund runs a negative balance, they are basically just expanding the money supply.

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July 12, 2011, 06:47:45 PM
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You're taking your advice from an article writen by "Tyler Durden"?

Zerohedge is the best econoblog on the Web, IMHO- certainly the most subversive. The blog owner uses a psudonym to promote free speech, the same way the authors of The Federalist Papers did.

Zerohedge is the Wikileaks of Wall Street.

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July 12, 2011, 07:10:15 PM
 #19

Because of the FDIC the next bank run will be different. It won't be a mad dash to get dollars, we can get those for sure. It'll be a dash to get value for our dollars. There is and can be no guarantee on that. I suspect people who have no more room for cans of beans and toilet paper will try to get some of their wealth through the crisis in gold and bitcoin.

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July 12, 2011, 07:37:08 PM
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Because of the FDIC the next bank run will be different. It won't be a mad dash to get dollars, we can get those for sure. It'll be a dash to get value for our dollars. There is and can be no guarantee on that. I suspect people who have no more room for cans of beans and toilet paper will try to get some of their wealth through the crisis in gold and bitcoin.

The FDIC has almost no money. The banks that fail every Friday like clockwork have depleted the insurance fund completely. Sheila Bair is operating off of a 500 billion line of credit with Treasury, which will not be nearly enough to prevent a bank run should a TBTF go down.  Increasing that line of credit literally requires an act of congress, meaning it wouldn't happen in time to do any good. Besides, Treasury is Broke too.


Bank runs are always, always deflationary, but the big financial crisis may not be a bank run. It depends on how much liquidity the FED provides. Too much and the ship alters course from Japan to Zimbabwe.

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