Karl Denninger takes us back to basics about banks and "your money" (highlighting is mine):
I want to talk about IndyMac for a bit.
The news has covered a few really, truly sad stories. People with $200,000, $300,000, $400,000 or more in there who have seen 50% of their balance over $100k disappear overnight.
Older people who literally have their life savings in these institutions. People who are relatively unsophisticated, but have been told through the years that the government will make it all ok, and who believed it.
It tugs at your heart to see a 70+ year old man pleading for them to let him have his money - money that he worked and saved a lifetime for.
If only it were that easy.
People don't think of a bank as being an investment, but it is.
You are lending your money to the bank so they can make money with it, and they pay your a coupon - interest, or the "safekeeping" in the case of a checking account that does not pay interest - in return!