Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I was watching the last hour of the Today Show on Tuesday which typically is not intellectually stimulating. Hoda and Kathie Lee blaze through sound bites of numerous topics without giving much detail. Which is great for topics like: which rain coat to wear this season or look at Busch Garden’s wild animals (Hoda: Look at it’s tail. Kathie Lee: Uhhh… Ewww!).

So I didn’t have much hope for the upcoming financial segment with Carmen Wong Ulrich from CNBC’s On the Money. I was pleasantly surprised as she gave quick insightful advice to the viewer’s questions about bank safety. Check out her blog on the same topic.

Here are my favorite tools that she recommended:

To see if your money will still be there after your bank has failed use the FDIC’s calculator. We were completely covered, which we thought we would be, but it’s always nice to know since I live around the corner from IndyMac.

This tool tells you if FDIC will replace your money if your bank was to go under. To see if you’re about to deal with FDIC because your bank is teetering on the brink of disaster go to Bank Rate’s Safe and Sound Rating System. Keep in mind you are hoping to see that your banking institution will have a Safe & Sound CAEL rating of 1, 2, or 3 and a Bankrate Star Rating of 3, 4, or 5 stars (could they make that anymore confusing?).

Here are a sampling of some of our banking institutions and current ratings:

Vanguard- CAEL Rating: 1, BR Stars: *****
Washington Mutual Bank FSB- CAEL Rating: 2, BR Stars: ****
ING Bank- CAEL Rating: 3, BR Stars: ***

Wow- well that explains the cheery little email that I got from ING the other day. It was trying to reassure me, but all it did was perk up my antenna. I did a little research because frankly I thought WaMu would be in worse straights than ING. It turns out that ING is highly invested in Lehman Brothers' Inc (40 million Euros). While it doesn’t look like it’s going to fail anytime soon, it explains the PR email.


FruGal said...

Hi there, I just found your site through your comment on QLF. I've been having a look around and you've got a lot of interesting stuff on here. Will keep reading along :)

So Cal Savvy said...

Hi FruGal! Thanks for the complement!