An even more important step that prevented deposit runs on banks has been the FDIC's temporary waiver of deposit-insurance limits for business-transaction accounts (checking accounts). The waiver is set to expire June 30, 2010, after which business-checking accounts will revert to the $100,000 limit.
That means it will be more important than ever for business and municipal entities such as school districts to carefully monitor the health of their banks. It's very easy to have more than $100,000 of somebody else's money flowing through a business account.
TheStreet.com Ratings issues independent and very conservative financial-strength ratings on the nation's 8,500 banks and savings and loans. They are available at no charge on the Banks & Thrifts Screener.
-- Reported by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.