Every time there is a banking crisis some scratch their heads and wonder; how could this happen? Surely it must be greed, bad risk management or lack of regulation. More intervention should solve it. However, all those excuses miss the most critical point: The U.S. banking system was destroyed by design, and the big banks played along with it.
The fractional reserve system has always been a problem. Very few people understand how quickly the capital of a bank can dissolve. The entire balance sheet of a bank is a deck of cards and the smallest decline in the profitable asset base -loans- or the volatile liabilities -deposits- would make the entire building collapse because the problem has always been to take additional long-term risk using short-term liquid liabilities -deposits-.
The mismatch between assets and liabilities makes the entire balance sheet collapse and there is never enough capital and reserves to cover the losses. However, decades of prudent banking and increasingly sophisticated risk management tools helped reduce the risk of a bank failure. It was never going to be perfect, but it worked for the most part.
Continue reading The U.S. Banking System Was Destroyed By QE…And Negative Rates Killed It →
The Silicon Valley Bank Collapse Is a Direct Consequence of Loose Monetary Policy.
The second largest collapse of a bank in recent history after Lehman Brothers could have been prevented. Now, the impact is too large, and the contagion risk is difficult to measure.
The demise of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) is a classic bank run driven by a liquidity event, but the important lesson for everyone is that the enormity of the unrealized losses and financial hole in the bank’s accounts would have not existed if it were not for ultra-loose monetary policy. Let us explain why.
Continue reading Silicon Valley Bank Followed Exactly What Regulation Recommended →
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard different arguments from supporters and opponents of President Joe Biden’s student debt forgiveness program. It is probable that the justices will rule before June. However, it is important to remember a few challenges.
Student loans are an essential tool to help maximize the number of citizens that have access to the best and most exclusive tuition. American universities are among the top in the world and high-quality tuition comes with an elevated cost. To help the disadvantaged access top universities it is important to have a thriving and affordable loan system, a solid grant program and an open market that supports the majority, including those who are not in university yet.
We must aim to make the current system better, not maintain it disguising the problem with a deficit-financed subsidy.
Continue reading Why Student Loan Debt Relief is a Worse Idea Than You Think →
At the end of February 2023, the price of oil (WTI and Brent), Henry Hub and ICE natural gas, aluminum, copper, steel, corn, wheat, and the Baltic Dry Index are below the February 2022 levels.
The Supply Chain Index and the global supply-demand balance, published by Morgan Stanley, have declined to September 2022 levels. However, the latest inflation readings are hugely concerning.
Considering the previously mentioned prices of commodities and freight, if inflation were a “cost-push” phenomenon, it would have collapsed to 2% levels already. However, both headline and core inflation measures, from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to Personal Consumer Expenditure Prices (PCE) show extremely elevated levels and rising core inflationary pressures.
Continue reading Governments cannot blame inflation on energy anymore →