NPR logo "There's Something Funny Going On At the Bank, George..."

"There's Something Funny Going On At the Bank, George..."

Above, you will find the cultural touchstone that we all imagine when we think of the term "bank run." George Bailey, handing out his honeymoon stash, as the town of Bedford Falls converges on the Building and Loan.

Below, you will see a much less charming version — as customers raid the collapsing IndyMac bank.

Turns out, the history of bank runs is uniquely American — and more interesting than you'd think. Jane Kamensky fills us in on the bank panics in between these two. Any questions? Post 'em here, or rent It's A Wonderful Life.

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