FDIC Bank FailuresThe nice thing about decimation is it’s a fractioal way to die.

The word decimation is derived from Latin and means “removal of a tenth.” The Romans would “decimate” their deserters as well as soldiers who performed poorly in battle by dividing the men up into groups of 10 and having them draw lots. The losing group was then killed by the winners, who were still punished only they felt like winners by virtue of still being alive. As I said, the system has it’s advantages as a General who has to decimate 1,000 men must put 100 to death but a General with less to work with, say 100 men, only needs to mark 10 to die.

Does this sytem leave the remaining 90% healthier? Well, it certainly means there’s more food left, more medicine, more weapons, more supplies for the remainder. Decimation is exactly what happened to the Financial Sector as 119 Financial Institutions have failed and dozens of others merged out of existence since NetBank kicked off our current crisis on Sept 28th, 2007. There are currently another 416 “troubled” banks as of Aug 27th and that number was revised up from a count of 305 given in May. Sill, there are over 8,246 Financial Institutions remaining with $13.5Tn in cash assets and the FDIC has a $500Bn line of credit to draw on should the need arise. So, to put things in perspective – we haven’t even lost one in 10 and almost all that we’ve lost has been absorbed by another funcitoning institution. I wanted to put this up front on this section because this is the fuclrum of the misconception that started this crisis.

$1,000,000,000,000 is a lot of money. It’s very hard for a person who has worked their whole lives to save $100,000 to wrap their heads around a number that is 10,000,000 times bigger than that and seeing our government talk about bailouts that START at $700Bn and grow to, argueably, $7,000,000,0000,000 in a matter of months is certain to push some emotional buttons. As a funamentalist, I try to give our members perspective on the markets and perhaps the best way to view what happened to the economy is to think about an accident victim.

The GDP of the United States is roughly $14Tn a year. Usually, that money cycles around through the body of the economy and we don’t think much about what a big…
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