BANKING: Freeze in Mississippi

It sounds like a story out of the Depression: depositors frightened about the safety of their savings make panicky mass withdrawals, threatening the stability of the institutions involved. Finally, worried legislators enact a freeze on deposits—a la Franklin Roosevelt's Bank Holiday of 1933—leaving tens of thousands of savers wondering when, if ever, they can get their money out. It happened late last month in Mississippi, and the case serves as a reminder that there are still some holes in the vaunted system of federal insurance that generally makes the great bulk of deposits in banks and savings and loan...

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