WASHINGTON, D.C.Â Seeking to calm nervous depositors in the wake of the largest bank failure in American history, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation today announced that it would guaranty mouse pads, coffee mugs and other crappy gifts that banks give consumers in order to attract deposits.
Bair:Â "Just a minute--there's something wrong with my contact."
"Every American needs to feel confident that the mini-football or golf umbrella they received in exchange for opening a savings or checkings account will work," said FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair.Â "American banksÂ need to get back to basics and stop luring unsuspecting depositors with this worthless junk."
Bair:Â "It looked like a picnic basket, but it was too small to hold anything bigger than a squeeze bottle of ketchup."
Banks compete for deposits by offering customers inexpensive consumer items that frequently break before the end of their useful life.Â Prior to deregulation of financial institutions in the 1980's, banks could only give depositors toaster ovens with a five-year parts and labor warranty.
"My English muffin is burning!"
The FDIC guaranties bank deposits up to $100,000, but has historically shied away from backing up the performance of picnic baskets, tire-changing kits and mini-basketball hoops.
Toaster oven:Â The good old days.
"Putting the full faith and credit of the United States behind a plastic beach ball is absurd," said Washington, D.C. bank consultant Herb Garnish.Â "Most of those things pop in the back seat before you get halfway home."
Pelosi:Â "That eyelash curler never worked.Â I should have picked the beach blanket!"
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi applauded the move, blaming the influx of shoddy bank gifts on Republicans in Congress and the White House.Â "Americans today are paying the priceÂ for eight years of ugly bank calendars," Pelosi said.Â "You've got fall foliage showing up in July, and beach scenes in January--it's a riddle and an enigma wrapped in a slice of bacon."
Copyright 2008, Con Chapman