Will FDIC Be Able To Cover Your Accounts?

In the Seeing the Forest: Is Your Money Safe? post a few days ago I suggested that you make sure your money is in bank accounts that are insured by the FDIC.
Well, there is a possible hitch in that plan. As Atrios points out today, Washington Mutual is teetering and if they go under it could swamp the FDIC. Like so many other institutions FDIC doesn’t have the necessary reserves to cover what is happening.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., whose insurance fund has slipped below the minimum target level set by Congress, could be forced to tap tax dollars through a Treasury Department loan if Washington Mutual Inc., the nation’s largest thrift, or another struggling rival fails, economists and industry analysts said Tuesday.

What does this mean to you? Well, it might be a good idea to have some cash literally under your mattress in case your bank goes under and it takes a while for Congress and the Treasury to bail out the FDIC. That contingency means it might take a while before you have access to your money.
I wouldn’t worry that you are going to lose your money — Congress just won’t allow that. But it might be a little while before you can access it. So have enough cash at home to pay for things for a little while. I’m sure that checks will still be OK for paying the rent, etc…