Americans Appear To Be Worried About Banking Crisis; Memories Of 2008 Financial Crisis Looms

Americans' concerns about their bank accounts seem to be similar to those of the 2008 financial crisis. A Gallup survey done after two banks collapsed but before to the fall of a third found that 48% of US respondents are "very" or "moderately" worried about the money stored in bank accounts. This is comparable to September 2008, when 45% of US adults indicated they were "very" or "moderately" concerned about the security of their bank-held money in the wake of the Lehman Brothers collapse. After government bailouts aimed to save banks, the percentage fell to 41% by December 2008.

When asked about their level of worry between April 3 and 25, 19% of respondents said they were "very worried," 29% said they were "moderately worried," 30% said they were "not too worried," and 20% said they weren't worried at all. Nevertheless, there were significant variations in terms of political affiliations, wealth, and educational attainment. According to Axios, 55% of Republicans and 51% of independents indicated they were extremely or somewhat concerned about their money, compared to 36% of Democrats. This is "consistent with other polling that shows economic concerns deepen if your party is not in the White House."

In contrast to individuals without a college degree, the percentage was 36% for Americans with a college degree. Less educated Americans may not be aware of the FDIC insurance, which protects depositors at banks covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from losses up to at least $250,000, claims Gallup. In spite of the recent bank collapses, "no depositor has lost money—including those with funds over the quarter-million dollar limit for FDIC insurance," according to Axios.

Sheila Bair, a former FDIC head, said to CNN last week that "the vast majority of banks are fine" and that "our system can handle this." Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, stated, "The US banking system is sound and resilient." However, large levels of fear among lower-income Americans (about 50% compared to 40% for those with incomes over $100,000) may indicate "less trust in a system they feel frequently leaves them on the outsides," according to Axios. According to Brookings senior researcher Aaron Klein, who cites the increase in certain bank fees during the 2008 financial crisis, they could see bank failures as being "bad for them" generally.

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