The rise and (almost) fall of America’s banks
These days, you can roll up to an ATM at the grocery, the pharmacy, the gas station, the hardware store, the office, even the ballpark. You can check your Bank of America balance on your iPhone. You can text Chase, and Chase will text you back.
That’s banking today: It has grown from an almost quaint relationship between teller and customer into a massive, dizzyingly interconnected network that touches almost every adult in this country.
And right now, the federal government — working without a road map, and without a net — is putting together a plan to keep U.S. banks from collapsing.
Not just to get the banks lending again. To keep them alive.
The government is expected to announce Monday a plan that analysts expect will include lifting soured mortgage assets off selected banks’ books, possibly along with guarantees against other losses and maybe more direct injections of cash.