The Depositor's Tax And The Law Of Unintended Consequences

Seeing the debacle of the proposed 'bank depositor's' tax in Cyprus makes me wonder how the Powers-That-Be in the EU thought it was such a good idea. While it would have raised a bunch of one-time revenue, it would have ruined what was left of the Cypriot banks when depositors withdrew all of their cash after the one-time charge in order to prevent the government from taking even more of their money. Considering depositors had already paid taxes on that money it was stupid to think they would stand for such shenanigans. Call it yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

If that were tried here in the US I would expect as much outrage, if not more, as well as runs on bank deposits that would cause hundreds, if not thousands of banks to fail. If you need an example of what such a bank run looks like in the 21st Century, all one has to do is look what happened at the Indy Mac Bank after Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made the suggestion that it might be in trouble. In a matter of a couple of days depositors withdrew over $3 billion in cash, causing the bank to fail. But loudmouth Chuck was wrong. The bank didn't have any issues that might have caused problems until Chuck Schumer's injudicious words triggered the run on the bank. In other words it was Chuck who caused an otherwise healthy bank to fail.

In the US those of us who actually save our money are already penalized by taxes upon any interest earned on our savings. Again, this is money on which we have already paid taxes. The tax laws penalize savings which in turn has caused the amount of savings to plummet. Should some idiot like Chuck Schumer decide slapping a 10% tax on bank deposits would be a great way to raise revenue, we would see an economic collapse to rival that of the Great Depression. Banks would fail and there's no way the FDIC could possibly meet its obligations. Why would anyone put money in a bank knowing the government could seize some portion of it in order to pay its bills? It would be safer burying it out in the back yard.