In recent news, I see calls for people to withdraw all their cash deposits, supposedly to pressure against the state on a certain decision.

(redacted the names since the question is not about the political events that surround the call)

a call on social networks

I am not familiar with the US banking system specifically, but from my naive understanding, personal deposits do not make the majority of bank assets.

In addition (correct me if I'm wrong or naive), I believe that Americans tend to make structured deposits, and many deposits are somehow matched with credits. So, if a bank run gets triggered indeed, it hits primarily the same category of people who initiated it.

Is the mass withdrawing all one's deposits from banks a viable tactic on pressuring on the state?

By 'viable' I understand that its reasonably calculated outcome (for the initiator) would be greater than the reasonably expected disadvantages.

  • 1
    I don't see why the state would care. They'll just print more money and enjoy it. It can pressure banks.
    – user253751
    Mar 21, 2023 at 0:16
  • 8
    I’m voting to close this question because this might be better suited for skeptics.stackexchange.com
    – 0xFEE1DEAD
    Mar 21, 2023 at 0:46
  • 2
    It kindof is, although in this case I disagree. A lot of people receive all kinds of unsolicited viral "alerts" that may affect their financial decision-making, and understanding what they mean could be helpful and very much on topic here. The question whether the alert is real may be on-topic at skeptics, but asking what it could mean financially should be very much on topic here.
    – littleadv
    Mar 21, 2023 at 1:59
  • 4
    Taking a 10% tax penalty to own the libs is quite the tactic, lol.
    – ceejayoz
    Mar 21, 2023 at 13:19
  • 2
    It's a bad enough idea that, like the rebellion against proper medical precautions, I wonder if it's being deliberately circulated in an attempt to hurt gullible conservatives. (If you're gonna start a conspiracy theory, start one that accomplishes some social good -- and I'm talking about this comment, not about the supposed rebellion, much as I think the Trumpists are begging to be further misled.)
    – keshlam
    Mar 21, 2023 at 16:45

1 Answer 1


"will liquidate all IRA and 401k" - ROFL, let's all pay 50% tax on our savings to the government, that'll show 'em!

These kinds of messages are essentially a pump and dump scheme on steroids. People are trying to exploit unsophisticated and gullible victims to move the market in a direction they want and play on that.

Obviously, retail investors will not make a dent in terms of deposit sheet of any major bank to the point that would require government intervention. At most, there may be enough of them concentrated in a certain area to cause an actual bank run on a local credit union or something, and in that case who did they hurt? Themselves mostly.

Similarly with withdrawing the IRAs and 401ks - if everyone withdraws their retirement accounts all at once then maybe the market would move down somewhat, but whom would that hurt? These people liquidating their positions, and on top of the liquidation losses they'll pay a significant tax+penalty to the government. Would the government be upset about such a windfall? Probably not, at least not right now. Maybe in a couple of years when all these people start asking for welfare because they realized they've been played and ended up with nothing, but by that time the redacted guy or someone else from their party will be back in the White House, so good luck with that.

  • 4
    Always ask who benefits from a random viral suggestion. It is very, very rarely intended to benefit the receiver.
    – keshlam
    Mar 21, 2023 at 1:12
  • "Breaking: 80MM Americans vow to ..." might be intended to cause a bank run or to encourage short positions on banks or just to scare the government (poorly)
    – user253751
    Mar 21, 2023 at 1:44
  • 3
    I want to know where they are finding 80 mega-Molar Americans.
    – keshlam
    Mar 21, 2023 at 4:02
  • 2
    @keshlam I hope they didn't mean 80-millimeter ones. :) Mar 21, 2023 at 5:30
  • It's all caps, so you may have something there. (And a stuck shift key for the whole message is also an indication that something shouldn't be taken seriously.)
    – keshlam
    Mar 21, 2023 at 16:48

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