Quote Originally Posted by akrowne
Like the bank panics in the 19th century US predating the Fed, whether these were against a backdrop of gradual inflation or deflation was irrelevant. No one thought of the panic in those terms, and they were probably right not to. The point was that some banks and/or assets were experiencing capital flight, and this capital sought safe havens.
Aaron,

This is exactly right, but it has not been extended far enough.

When you guarantee something, you become it.

The US gov't has been guaranteeing the banking/financial system for years, now has become what it was nurturing.

The result is the dollar - the outward symbol of USA, inc. as EJ has mentioned many times - will continue to sink as the rest of the world realizes that the problems of the banking/financial system are the problems of USA, inc.

The other similarity which you've mentioned is the panic-induced bank run. But note that in many cases (not all), there is genuine cause to fear a real failure. When the real failures did come to light, then the 'panic' is actually the best response (another item EJ has touched on).

In our present case, I personally believe there is very much a systemic failure occurring, and that the panic maneuvering is a rational response.

It is not just the huge numbers involved: $5T, $10T, more? - but rather that the entire structure of the US financial system has been exposed for the parasitical, organic growth stunting, confidence game that it is.