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The Banking System: How it Works and Why it Can Collapse

In the midst of the American banks plunge on the stock market in 2023, we will try to explain how the banking system works and why it can collapse. The banking system is an integral part of modern economies, serving as a platform for the exchange of money and the management of financial resources. Banks are financial institutions that are licensed to accept deposits, make loans, and provide other financial services. In this article, we will explain how the banking system works and why it can collapse.

How the Banking System Works

Banks are intermediaries between savers and borrowers, facilitating the transfer of funds from one party to another. When you deposit money in a bank, the bank pays you interest on your deposit and uses your money to make loans to other customers. Banks make money by charging higher interest rates on loans than they pay on deposits, earning a profit on the spread between the two rates.

The banking system is regulated by government agencies to ensure that banks are safe and sound. Banks are required to hold a certain amount of capital, which is a cushion against losses. Banks also have to follow regulations on lending practices and other aspects of their operations.

Why the Banking System Can Collapse

The banking system is susceptible to collapse if banks fail to manage risks effectively. In 2008, the banking system experienced a crisis that threatened to bring down the global financial system. The crisis was triggered by the collapse of the US housing market, which led to a wave of defaults on mortgages and a sharp decline in the value of mortgage-backed securities.

Banks had invested heavily in these securities and suffered huge losses when their value plummeted. This led to a liquidity crisis, as banks found it difficult to borrow money to meet their obligations. Banks that were highly leveraged, meaning they had borrowed heavily to make investments, were particularly vulnerable to the crisis.

The crisis spread quickly throughout the banking system, as banks stopped lending to each other and to businesses and individuals. This led to a credit crunch, which in turn led to a recession that affected the global economy.

To prevent the collapse of the banking system, governments and central banks took a series of measures, including injecting massive amounts of liquidity into the financial system and bailing out failing banks. These measures helped to stabilize the banking system, but they also had significant long-term consequences, including increased government debt and inflation.


The banking system is a vital part of modern economies, but it is also susceptible to collapse if banks fail to manage risks effectively. The crisis of 2008 was a stark reminder of the fragility of the banking system and the need for effective regulation and oversight. To prevent another collapse, regulators and bankers must work together to ensure that banks are safe and sound and that risks are managed effectively.