So this is prudence is it?
I expect much comment in the Sunday press about the almost unprecedented run on the Northern Rock by their customers.
The 1929 crash was caused in part by a complete collapse of confidence by the public in their financial institutions and the regulatory authorities ability to protect them. Todays troubling pictures of anxious investors queueing up to get their cash out of their bank because they fear it going bust is, in my view, a damning indictment of both the FSA and the Bank of England.
In fact any banker will tell you that the base ingredient for a stable economy is trust, trust in the value of money and trust in the banks that store it for you; this is one reason why we like our banks to be big, boring and institutional - it's reassuring.
One of the often repeated side effects of this spin-obsessed Government is a lack of trust. People just don't believe Government ministers or even the Prime Minister to tell them the truth anymore. All Government institutions are damaged by association, threatening the entire workings of Government itself. Statistics, like the number of immigrants or the rate of inflation aren't trusted.; Policemen aren't believed like the used to be in court, government officials find their evidence scoffed at so we have a resurgence in mumps and rubella because people stopped having the MMR vaccine and so on.
When Gordon says 'the economy is fine' we don't believe him. When Chancellor Darling says 'Norther Rock is fine, your money is safe', evidently investors don't believe him, either.