They are not guarranteed therefore not safe. In NYB's case the div may be in place thru this year considering they just upped it. But in this coming environment where interest rates will eat up EPS going forward, NYB will not be smart to pay out more in Div's than it earns. Why? because if it does, all it's doing is reducing the price of the stock by what it paysout over what it earns. Another words it's smoke and mirrors not to mention poor business. If NYB is credible and wants to remain credible, at that juncture it will have to reduce div. And make no mistake the market will react positive to the news.