This question was closed as "off topic". From the list of what's on-topic, I think it's definitely about personal finance, e.g. it falls under "Best practices for saving..". For the specific off-topic list, it might fall foul of the "requests for specific buy/sell advice" rule, but it seems a little tenuous to me.

The question seems to me to be of general interest, even if it's somewhat time limited. Should it really have been closed? I think if it really is off-topic, the FAQ should be clarified to make the details more explicit.

UPDATE: The question has undergone some edits and has been re-opened.

  • I think this is a great discussion. We should mark this as a featured question. – Alex B May 31 '12 at 21:05

I think it would have been better to have encouraged me to rephrase the question to a more 'acceptable' format.

This is a problem I'm increasingly seeing across SE sites, where more advanced members close questions from new members on the basis of not liking the format of the question, rather than the premise. It would be much more helpful - and in the long-term interests of the growth and sustainability of the SE community - if new members were given help and encouragement to participate in accordance with the sometimes esoteric requirements of SE communities. I've seen this happen on occasion and the outcome is much better for all - the new user learns, the question is improved and the SE body of knowledge continues to grow. By just closing a question - often with a snarky comment or two - nobody is helped.

Yes, I read the FAQ and having done that, I took the decision that my question was still relevant. I'm a bank account holder in the UK and I'm concerned about the prospect of bank runs in the eurozone affecting such a thing in the UK. For a country so closely tied in with eurozone countries, it doesn't seem unreasonable to hold the notion that we could suffer. As an individual without much of an understanding of finance and banking, I wanted to know how this would affect my personal finances.

Of course, the question doesn't have an absolute answer, but then there are plenty of questions out there that also don't have an absolute answer. I can see "what is the best..."-type questions today and they're open and being contributed to. But my question had a degree of relative scope to it. If someone had knowledge to suggest that the question had been credibly discussed elsewhere and found that there was/ wasn't a danger to individuals' personal finances in the UK, then that surely would have been an answer to provide?

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    You can still rephrase your question. Closed is not deleted and if rephrased in a format that makes in constructive and on topic I would expect that the question would be reopened. – Chad May 30 '12 at 14:44
  • Exactly, closed is not deleted, the OP can still modify it, and we don't immediately delete closed questions for this reason. – Chris W. Rea May 30 '12 at 17:09
  • You can still ask it as a new question. – Dheer May 31 '12 at 4:09

I completed the closure after I saw votes-to-close accumulating. Two such were for "off-topic", and one, IIRC, was for "not a real question" or else "too localized". While the existing votes-to-close were a factor bringing the question to my attention, below are some concerns I had about it myself.

Per the FAQ section What kind of questions should I not ask here?, I considered:

  • there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”

... i.e. what practical problem is this question trying to get solved? It could be taken instead as initiating a discussion or essay. It is certainly an interesting question, but does it fit this site's Q&A format?

  • we are being asked an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if ______ happened?”

... i.e. the question under discussion could lead to open-ended speculation. Who here can know what will or won't happen to U.K. banks with the situation in Europe potentially worsening? We value questions that have answers, not leading to prognostication. Is there an answer to this question?

I don't pretend to speak for everybody, though, so if another person has an opinion please do post it in response to this meta question. We value everybody's participation in defining and clarifying what is a good question and what is not. (Notice the "beta" label still at the top of the main site!)

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    I kind of agree with this, but I Think that this is more than hypothetical. I think of it more as a question of how do I evaluate the risk of bank failure as a result of the impending failure of Greece. That is an actionable problem based on real world conditions. – Chad May 30 '12 at 14:42
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    @Chad I think your question posted here in the comments sounds like a legitimate question with an answer. I would have voted to close the banking question discussed in this meta question and voted to keep the question you wrote open. – Alex B May 30 '12 at 17:56
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    Additionally, as written, "Yes" or "No" are valid answers to the question. "Yes, they will trigger a bank run." or "No, they will not trigger a bank run." – Alex B May 30 '12 at 18:02

I was amongst the one who voted to close it. The question to me was too generic and broad. And the way it was worded was more for economics than personal finance. So let’s say I answer with some justification that there is a possibility of Bank run. Fine. How did this address my savings account or my ability to withdraw funds or carry out my day to day affair? This is never asked in the Question.

If the question says will my ability to withdraw funds be limited in case of Bank run? Or Is there is Govt safety net [some Federal guarantee that my money is safe]? etc would be more relevant personal finance question.

The impact of Euro Zone crisis is not fully understood even by leading economists and to speculate on the implications for others is something not directly related to personal finance.

If we consider this on topic, then there could be similar cause and effect questions that are too broad; For example if there is Great Depression, and jobs are being lost, will it impact the Job market in "Paradise" country, or will the Govt take my money kept in Banks as Taxes.

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    I suppose you don't have a bank account in Italy. In such a case would you worry about the leading economist fully understand the Euro Zone crisis, or you would rather be worried where to place your saving?! He was basically asking (in the wrong terms) where to place his saving to be safe, or if a UK bank account could still be considered a safe place in the actual economic situation. – Marco Demaio May 29 '12 at 11:57
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    @MarcoDemaio I think this is just an issue of wording. If the question was "Where can I put my savings so that they are not affected by a run on banks in Spain while I live in ___?" then I don't think it would have had any close votes. – Alex B May 30 '12 at 17:58

I agree the question was not written in the right way, but the meaning of the question is clear. Instead of closing it someone with edit rights could have simply edited it and fixed the title.

Let's say the question title was: "How would you invest your money to be safe in the hypotethical event of bank run in UK due to Euro crisis?"

Well this is a question that has got a huge to do with personal finance and personal money.

The only answer is probably: "nobody knows what will happen, but if you want to sleep well for the next couple of years, buy physical gold (even if it's not convenient) and buy soverign bonds from Australia and Canada or any other states with a low Debt/GDP ratio and low budget/GDP ratio (beside the fact that someone says it's off topic also to talk about Debt/GDP ratios like if it's a subject that could be discussed only by Einstein and Newton or some other genius).

I do respect the effort of moderators to try not to transofrm this site in a speculative site talking only about EURO doom theories, but in this period of time when Paul Krugman, CITI, Morgan Stanely, clearly states that EURO is coming to an end, I'm wondering how much can be considered simple speculation talking about euro crisis even in terms of possible bank run.

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    In most cases, only the OP knows what the question should be. Is this money for every day spending? Retirement? Do you need to get to the money daily, weekly, monthly, in 30 years? Changes to those points will change the best answers and unfortunately, I am not a very good guesser when it comes to editing other user questions. – Alex B May 30 '12 at 18:00

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