Due to a change in how the FDIC resolves failed banks, uninsured deposits have become de facto insured. Not only is this dangerous for risk in the banking system, it is not what Congress intends the FDIC to do, writes Michael Ohlrogge.
Using a household survey with information treatments conducted in the aftermath of the SVB’s collapse, we examine the potential for a large bank’s failure to trigger bank runs and the effectiveness of public communication in containing such a risk. We find that news about SVB’s collapse increases households’ propensity to withdraw bank deposits as people become more worried that their bank may fail and expect larger losses on deposits in case of bank failure. Communication by the Federal Reserve in support of the banking sector and information about FDIC deposit insurance can contain the risk of bank runs, while communication from politicians influences only their electoral base.
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