Bank Depositors Fleeing Low Yields AND Solvency Problems

Silver led precious metals markets higher last week.

Safe-haven demand remains strong despite the rally in stock prices. There are lingering concerns among many investors about the economic outlook and the troubles in the banking sector are not likely over.

The U.S. dollar ended lower on the week while yields on the 10-year Treasury moved higher. Meanwhile, the ongoing flight of depositors remains a problem for banks.

The trouble began a few weeks ago when concerns over solvency at some small and regional banks prompted depositors to move funds to larger banks designated too big to fail. The FDIC and the Fed expanded deposit guarantees and added emergency liquidity.

A couple weeks have now passed since the last bank failure. Depositors continue withdrawing funds, however.

The impetus is now just as much about obtaining a reasonable yield as is concerns about bank solvency. Hundreds of billions of dollars are pouring into money market funds, where depositors can get yields on their money multiple times what is available in their bank’s deposit accounts.