Claim: Receipt of special “closed” signs by Bank of America signals that U.S. banks will soon be shut down by the government for one week.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, October 2008]
Possible shut down of the banking system
Oct. 1, 2008
Reliable word that Bank of America branch managers just received a message via the
This raises the likelihood of a ONE WEEK LONG bank holiday coming soon.
It would be wise to have some cash around because checks, credit cards, CDs don’t work when the banks are closed and it appears ATM’s will be offline too. If you have CDs it might be worthwhile to cash them even though there is a penalty. If you have anything inside Safe Deposit Boxes in the bank that you may need, make certain you empty those safe deposit boxes tomorrow!
Origins: By the time Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in for his first term as president in
declare a “bank holiday” which closed the nation’s financial institutions for several days to head off further consumer runs on banks and bought Roosevelt time to push the Emergency Banking Act through Congress.
The current economic turmoil in the United States, including several bank failures (and the possibility of more to come), raises the possibility that continued gloom on the
economic front might possibly someday lead to consumer panic that could result in temporary restrictions on some financial transactions, but the rumor that
The scenario of someone’s spotting a cache of signs that reveals a hush-hush move being planned by the
The discovery of signs is simply a plot device used to lend credibility to conspiracy tales: Just as the government wouldn’t really need to ship “ROAD CLOSED DUE TO MARTIAL LAW” signs all over the country in advance of a military takeover (ordinary “ROAD CLOSED” signs would serve just as well), a bank wouldn’t need to have a supply of special “We’re sorry, but due to circumstances beyond our control, we cannot be open at this time” signs on hand before they could shut down their branches for a few days (particularly since in this case, the putative wording of the signs doesn’t even explain the reason for the closures and therefore would serve no useful purpose that ordinary “CLOSED” signs would not).
The days when virtually all banking transactions could be halted simply by locking customers out of buildings (as was the case in the 1930s) are long gone. These days, a bank holiday would entail much more than just shutting down branches: ATMs all over the world would have to be shut down or prevented from accessing
Last updated: 6 October 2008