Q&A: Does the government have cold, hard cash?

Printing it all not necessary

Since so many of us now use direct deposit, debit cards and other forms of electronic funds, is there actually enough cash to replace all of the funds on deposit? If everyone decided to withdraw their bank deposits and stuff them in their mattresses, is sufficient money available in vaults somewhere?

No, the nation's banks don't collectively have that amount of cash. Given the extremely low probability that bank customers would simultaneously withdraw all their money, it would be a waste of taxpayers' money to print and store the trillions of dollars that would be required to match these holdings.

Instead, the Federal Reserve carefully manages currency inventories to meet the public's demand for cash and maintains substantial contingency inventories of cash for use during emergencies. Since the Fed began operating in 1914, it has always met the public's demand for cash.

The federal government has a number of safeguards that make its unlikely that bank customers would withdraw all funds in checking and savings accounts at the same time. For instance, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insures deposits up to $100,000. In addition, many forms of payment exist other than cash, including checks as well as debit and credit cards.

Game play started with a prayer

How is a "Hail Mary" pass executed?

In football, the Hail Mary is a last-second, desperation pass with little chance of success. The ball is lofted toward the end zone and, with a lot of luck or divine intercession, caught for a touchdown to win the game.

The term was believed to be first used by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach in 1975. During a playoff game with only seconds remaining, Staubach sent all his receivers downfield. He threw a long pass toward the end zone. Teammate Drew Pearson caught the ball for the winning touchdown.

Staubach, a devout Catholic, later said he whispered a "Hail Mary" prayer as he released the ball. Since that time, any last-second pass toward the end zone has been called a Hail Mary.

Football runs in the family

Is Nick Saban, the Alabama football coach, related to Lou Saban, the former AFL and NFL head coach?

They are cousins. Lou Saban is a former two-year All-Big Ten Indiana University star football player and head coach of the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots.

Nick Saban, who has coached at the University of Toledo, Michigan State, Louisiana State University and the Miami Dolphins of the NFL, is in his second season as head coach at the University of Alabama. His agreement with Alabama is for eight years and a guaranteed $32-million.

Q&A: Does the government have cold, hard cash? 11/27/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:24am]

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