The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Business

October 14, 2013

The Color of Money: Tips to outlast the crisis

—     All the talk about the federal debt ceiling might remind you of Charlie Brown's teacher.

     Remember her from the animated television specials based on the "Peanuts" comic strip? All you hear when the teacher speaks is, "Waa, waa, waa, waa."

     This might be what you hear when politicians talk about the fight to raise the debt limit, except you aren't laughing because you're too worried about what it means for your own financial situation.

     A deal might be struck soon, but I wanted to help ease some of your fears. I asked a number of experts to address some of the questions you may have.

     Q: Should I be worried about my money?

     A: Stephen Brobeck, executive director of Consumer Federation of America: "At this point, I don't think it's productive for consumers to worry greatly about their personal funds. Big investors around the world are concerned, but I still think House Republican leaders will act to avoid default. And consumers should remember that the key financial services regulatory agencies, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and its insurance funds that protect consumer bank deposits, do not depend on federal funding. However, even if default is avoided, consumers should be very concerned about the impact of continued congressional use of default, and government shutdowns, on their incomes and investments. The resulting erosion of investor and consumer confidence could well halt our slow recovery from the Great Recession."

     Q: Really, the money in my bank account is protected? Even in the event of a government default?

     A: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.: "Yes. Deposit insurance will continue to protect the insured deposits of bank customers." To learn more, visit www.fdic.gov. When you go to the site, search: "Are my deposits insured?"

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