How easy is it to cause a bank run? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Internet Pranksters Nabbed After Bank Panic (Last updated 8:15 AM ET April 29)

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese police have detained two people suspected of spreading rumors on the Internet that caused a run on a bank in central China, a local official said Wednesday.

"They spread rumors on the Internet, creating a disturbance and large amounts of cash withdrawal" last week from the Communications Bank of China in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, the official told Reuters from Zhengzhou.

The official declined to say what the rumors were but said the arrests were made quickly with the help of financial institutions and the central bank.

"A large number of people scrambled to withdraw money, including long- and short-term deposits," he said.

The panic lasted two days and ended soon after the arrests, he said. "They might just want to test the efficiency of the Internet," he said when asked what the motive was for spreading the rumors.


Obviously, the efficiency in their ability to create a loss in confidence and strike fear was exceptional. And, all it took was a two people, a computer and the Internet.

Get ready, something wicked this way comes and it wont matter which side of the Y2k line you stand on.

Mike ========================================================

-- Michael Taylor (, April 29, 1999


That was China. Can't happen here. ~[|8^}-->

-- regular (zzz@z.z), April 29, 1999.

In "Mary Poppins" the little kid just yells "Give me my money!" and the bank run is instantaneous. So much for that English stiff upper lip...

-- wooden (leg@named.smith), April 29, 1999.

I seem to remember Bart Simson starting a bank run one episode.

-- humptydumpty (, April 29, 1999.

Back in 1983, a word-of-mouth rumour started that Honolulu Federal Savings and Loan (Hawaii's then 3rd largest bank) was going bankrupt. Even without the internet - just using the ol' "coconut wireless" - it created a bank run which lasted a couple of days. The lines were out the door... I remember standing in line for a couple of hours just so I could get my money out...

This was at the time when savings and loans were dropping left and right and public confidence was already low. If the confidence level drops later this year because of Y2K related incidences, any small rumor will start this same kind of run. And with today's communication improvements, it will spread quicker and will probably be more intense than in the past.


-- (Oh, April 29, 1999.

Kind'a interesting Michael given that VERY few people in China even have access to the internet!

How confident will the U.S. public be next fall?

Depends on who's lying and who's telling the truth about Y2K, and who the public "thinks" is being straightforward with them. Or not.

What if ... they are "confident" this fall? Nothing happens. Fine. Then "what if" visible problems DO happen with the banks AFTER 2000 ... then what?

(Think international confidence too ... and flight to Y2K quality).

Question is, can we pick the potential banking "winners?" Now?


-- Diane J. Squire (, April 29, 1999.

Johnny Carson, host of the Tonight show, joked about a toilet paper shortage and in doing so created one......HG Wells read aloud on the radio that spaceships had landed and folkes panicked.......someone misunderstood orders and the Charge of the Light Brigade was on....thirty years ago i said I do and am still doing.....doesn't take much to have a life changing effect.

-- john s. o'brien (, April 29, 1999.

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