U.S. Weighs Backing Bank Debt - WSJ.com:
"The move to back all U.S. bank deposits, which is only in the discussion stage, would be aimed at preventing a further exodus of cash from financial institutions, including small and regional banks, some of which are buckling under the strain of nervous customers. In recent weeks, customers have pulled money out of some healthy community banks under the assumption that the government will only insure all the depositors of larger banks in the event of a failure.
To remove the ceiling on deposit insurance, multiple government agencies would first need to agree that there was a "systemic risk" to the economy, thereby invoking a rarely used legal power. Amid repeated efforts by the federal government to prop up ailing institutions, some bank regulators say the move is justified".
"One major flaw in the global banking system, and a sign that problems extend beyond whether U.S. homeowners can pay their mortgages, is the fact that banks don't trust each other enough to loan beyond an overnight period. That means that cash isn't being circulated through the financial system and banks are relying too heavily on short-term loans, which does little to help pay off looming debts. Banks are hoarding cash, both to cover their debts and to improve their year-end books."