The nation's banks and savings institutions are facing a severe deposit crunch. In part, they have themselves to blame. More and more, you'll see banks with related brokerage firms inside their lobbies, luring away depositors with the promise of higher rates on things like fixed annuities and brokered CDs from other institutions.The banks will argue that that money would go out the door anyway so they aren't really losing anything, but having worked at a bank and seen the undercurrents of competition involved, I think that's not entirely true.The majority of banks set their rates at insultingly low levels. When I can go get a state-tax-exempt T-bill and beat their CD rates by 1% or more, I have little sympathy for banks claiming they need more deposits.dan
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