Der Speigel (the major German paper) is talking about bank runs in Southern Europe, especially after the downgrading of 16 or so Spanish banks earlier in the week. Don’t kid yourself regarding how dangerous this is. Remember banks don’t hold much cash on hand and they rely on people having confidence in them to avoid a major seizure in funding (and speculating if you are heavily invested in mainstream stock indexes.) This is bigger than 2008, in my mind, because this system can only take so many more shocks to the idea that the leaders are in charge, and to the charade that a real recovery is right around the corner. People can only take so many punches in the gut before they begin to act in unpredictable ways.
Remember too that in the aftermath of yet another revelation that bankers like Jamie Dimon own the political class, you can bet nearly everything you have that banks will be recapitalized even as the larger economy in many western nations continues to contract. In the most literal sense, this is the definition of inflation: too much “money” chasing too few goods and services (banks getting to keep their wealth, while the wealth of little people gets destroyed). You won’t get much help from the mainstream media in connecting the dots, but in my book, the dots lead to things like gold, silver, platinum, palladium, or other tangible assets.
People can only endure so many shocks to their sense of what is and what is not savings before they begin to redefine the nature of those very savings. Choose carefully in your own case, and remember that the masters of the confidence game will never admit what is going on until it is too late. That is not meant to scare anyone. It is just the way it is .