Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"The Bank's About Out of Cash. Ma'am"

Our family has been closely following the happenings on Wall Street and in Congress over the past few days. It's not like we personally have much to loose in a financial crisis like this... except maybe a stable country and happy neighbors. That would be a bigger deal that some of the investments and stocks people are gnashing their teeth about.

I've been wondering just where this is going to go, knowing that whatever happens, God is in control. I also can't tell you how many times I've breathed a sigh of relief that my parents have been happy to go without over the years to remain debt-free and instill in all of their kids the principle of only buying what you can pay for! The peace of mind certainly pays off!

For years, I've known that our government and our financial system is only living on borrowed time. We have a lot of "money" but in reality, most of it is only worth the paper it's printed on.

Today that reality hit a little close to home. I stopped by our local small-town bank to cash a couple of (small) checks. As I attempted a left turn into the bank parking lot, I realized that the cars at the drive-up were all the way out onto the street waiting in line. So, I waited in line for a long time, not thinking much of it. When I finally pulled up to the window, I saw that my favorite teller, an old family friend was working. I smiled a pleasant hello. Her usual cheery greeting was only a sigh and a, "What do you need today?"

I assumed she was just tired, and trying to think of something friendly and sympathetic to say, remarked, "You must be overworked today! I can't believe the line-up you have here! The cars are still all the way out onto the street!"

Another sigh. "Yeah," she replied. "___ told me to just go ahead and close this window down after a few more cars. We're gonna run out of money here."

I laughed at what I thought was a joke. "Yeah, tell them to go home, 'cause the bank's out of money, huh?"

"No laugh," she retorted. "I was serious. We've had so much money taken out today that I AM going to run out of cash if I get even a few more checks. I really meant that." And then she raised her eyebrows and motioned towards the pickup pulling away, "I just cashed a BIG check for somebody who's getting his money out. Bigger than I ever do normally."

As I drove away, I shook my head. "The bank's running out of money...The bank's running out of money..." It sounded like something out of a history book.

And then I reminded myself... maybe this will be in my childrens' history book some day.


Drebbel said...

I'm a little curious as to you're bank's name. I'm guessing it might be a Wachovia related bank. But there is plenty of room for me to error. As an economist, I would try and tell you something about the future outlook and all that, but economic forecasts are usually worse than weather forecasts. Really, it all depends on future events that we cannot see, but assume "ceterus paribus;" all things being equal (which they never are). But I can tell you that all you're assets in a normal savings or checking account are fine up to $100,000. Other than that, keep out of debt, stay employed, and trust God.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for sharing this with us. I've also thought our financial system was on borrowed time. I mean -- how much can a country borrow? Households eventually end in financial ruin once they accumulate too much debt, why not countries?

However, the one bright spot in all of this as you mentioned is that God IS in control. Oh, how wonderful it is to know that!