My favorite part of the Jimmy McMillan ouevre is the gloves.
And while I completely agree with McMillan that the rent is too damn high when it comes to urban apartments, I’m not talking about housing rents in this Zeitgeist note. I’m talking about the rental price of money. I’m talking about interest rates.
The problem with money is that the rent is too damn low.
“The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s operation to inject cash into the financial system over the end of the year was oversubscribed on Monday, indicating a thirst for year-end funding.”
“Market participants submitted $49.05 billion in bids for the Fed’s 42-day term repo operation, which matures Jan. 6, 2020. That was more than the $25 billion on offer. This was the first of three term operations to provide funding past the year-end period. The others will be held in the coming weeks.”
“Even with the Fed’s commitment to continue providing liquidity to the financial system around year-end, the market is still showing concerns. This is due to banks’ year-end balance-sheet constraints related to capital surcharges and other regulatory requirements.“
This $25 billion in term loans is in addition to the overnight repo facility, btw, which clocked in at something like $60 billion or thereabouts.
But, hey, it’s all good, people!
“This is due to banks’ year-end balance-sheet constraints related to capital surcharges and other regulatory requirements.“
WHY are the Fed repo operations a never-ending garbage fire? WHY is the Fed facing an apparently insatiable demand for cash and very short-term liquidity?
Because the banks are over-regulated, that’s why.
Jamie Dimon wants you to know that if only our Too Big To Fail banking institutions were “unleashed” from those awful post-GFC capital requirements, why then, by golly, JP Morgan and all the other primary dealers would be only too happy to step into the breach and provide more short-term liquidity from their reserves. They’d be doing that right now if not for those pesky capital requirements!
Look, you can’t blame Jamie Dimon for taking advantage of the Fed’s impossible position in order to push for rolling back capital requirements and freeing up more cash to “return to shareholders”. You can’t blame Jamie Dimon for his Jamie Dimon-ness. It’s his nature.
No, I can’t blame Jamie Dimon for trying the ole “awkshually, the problem is too much government regulation” line. But I can sure blame everyone else for parroting it.
It’s just another variation on the trickle-down economics song, that if only you’d use government policy to improve the heaping portion of profitability on a giant private enterprise’s plate, then enough crumbs will fall off that plate so that everyone eats a little better.
Yep, this is “capitalism” in The Long Now, where a government agency makes the money and sets the price of money and then sells it to a government-selected banking oligopoly that resells it for a profit. And then complains about their cut.
Money is a completely rent-controlled market. It’s Jimmy McMillan’s dream world, where the rents are never too damn high but are always so damn low.
And just like all rent-controlled markets, it’s the rich and the well-connected who make out like bandits.
But everyone who would throw an unholy temper tantrum at – gasp! – rent-controlled apartments is just fine with the manager of that banking oligopoly being a billionaire and his chief lieutenant managers being centimillionaires and a gazillion of his sub-lieutenant managers being decamillionaires.
Everyone is just fine with the manager of that government agency being a centimillionaire and his predecessors being decamillionaires.
Everyone is just fine with the current President being a billionaire and his predecessor doing everything in his power to become a billionaire and now two more billionaires deciding to run for President.
What’s the problem for the Fed and its repo operations?
The rent-controlled price of money is too damn low.
What’s the problem for American citizens and our democracy?
We sold our birthright for a mess of pottage, and we don’t even see that we were taken.