Dr. Bob, That is the smartest thing you've ever said. If our currency was tied to gold we'd not be in the mess we are today. Fiat currency has no true value and with inflation at our door its worth less and less each day. I'll guarantee if he took your advice that gold would be worth more in one year than if he kept it in the bank.
Run is unlikely. There'd have to be a run on every almost every bank in the country, given the state of the banking industry. Plus if you got a basket full of cash, what'd you do with it?
If your money is in F Dick insured accounts, the 1st 100,000 is guaranteed in the event of a bank failure. There are even some rules that might make some amt over 100,000 partially protected. If your money is in a state insured account, that can be somewhat iffy. I remember people who had money in an S&L insured by the state of MD. They eventually got their money --- as I remember it took 2-3 years, and they got no interest in the interim.
If you've invested in some of the stuff banks have been selling through their brokerage arms, that likely isn't insured.