FDIC moved when Wachovia faced a 'silent' run on deposits

Charlotte ObserverOctober 2, 2008 

On Friday, with its stock plunging 27 percent, Wachovia experienced a "silent run" on deposits, but the bigger worry for regulators was that other banks wouldn't provide the Charlotte bank with necessary short-term funding when it opened for business Monday, sources familiar with the situation said.

With Wachovia already looking for a merger partner, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., in consultation with other regulators, required the bank to reach a sale to Citigroup on Monday morning.

The FDIC, for the first time, used legislative authority created in 1991 to help it deal with a "very large complex bank failure" on short notice. It requires approval from heavy hitters — two-thirds of FDIC board members, two-thirds of Federal Reserve board members as well as the Treasury secretary, who must consult with the president.

"When Wachovia opened Monday it would not have had a source of liquidity," a source familiar with the situation said. "It really could not have opened under those circumstances. That's why (the FDIC) put together the assistance package."

Read the complete story at charlotteobserver.com

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