Asian Customers Withdraw Bank Deposits En Masse

Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia looked like an Apple store on iPhone launch day, but not for the reason management would like.

From The New York Times:

Depositors who lined up outside the company’s headquarters in the city centre said that after the failure of Lehman Brothers, they no longer fully trusted any financial institution. “If a business as big as Lehman can go down, then we’re scared,” said Ann Chan, an off-duty nurse, whose husband had called her Wednesday afternoon and sent her to wait in line to withdraw their money.

Yet most bankers and economists say that with few exceptions — notably Russia and India and possibly the smaller banks in mainland China — the financial systems in most emerging markets are in fairly good shape to weather the global credit problems.

How sad that the US is not. Let this sink in: We are in worse shape than the financial systems in most emerging markets. For a certain set, Banana Republic will take on a whole new meaning.

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