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posted by martyb on Tuesday June 15, @07:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the I'll-take-it! dept.

Banks to Companies: No More Deposits, Please:

U.S. companies are holding on to billions of dollars in cash. Their banks aren’t sure what to do with it.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit last year, corporate executives rushed to raise money. Banks have been holding that cash ever since, and because companies are reluctant to borrow from them, they can’t turn it into income-generating loans. That has weighed on banks’ profit margins, and some have started pushing corporate customers to spend the cash on their businesses or move it elsewhere.

Bankers say they thought the improving economy would reduce companies’ desire for holding cash, but deposit inflows have continued in recent weeks. Chief financial officers and treasurers, many still wary of the pandemic’s impact, say they aren’t ready for big changes, even if they earn little or nothing on their deposits.

[...] Top of mind for many big banks is a rule requiring them to hold capital equivalent to at least 3% of all assets. Worried about the rule’s impact during the pandemic, the Fed changed the calculation in 2020 to ignore deposits the banks held at the central bank, but ended that break this March. Since then, some banks have warned the growing deposits could force them to raise more capital, or say no to deposits.


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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Wednesday June 16, @12:05PM (6 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 16, @12:05PM (#1145856) Journal

    OK, fix income inequality

    Where's the evidence that is a problem? I certainly don't see it as one, much less one that can be fixed by a temporary redistribution of cash (after the money runs out, it no longer counts as income). Once the cash goes away, you're back to square one with the businesses actually providing the incomes now missing that cash. The demand-oriented point of view doesn't tell us where the cash is supposed to come from the next time.

    And you're not any wealthier or better off, if Gates were worth a million dollars instead of 100 billion dollars.

    I would normally think this refers to underspending. However, you've advocated a reduction in government spend above, so perhaps you mean we spend too much on infrastructure?

    Yes and no.

    I think we spend too much on new infrastructure and too little on maintaining existing infrastructure. For example, I'm seeing estimates of deferred maintenance on US public infrastructure in the neighborhood [bondbuyer.com] of a trillion dollars. California presently is planning to spend a tenth of that ($100 billion) to build an almost useless stretch of high speed rail. A tenth of the US's maintenance deficit is squandered on a flashy train to nowhere.

    Let's maintain useful infrastructure instead.

    Big Govt vs Small Govt? In other words, spend less?

    Or how about things like not turning covid mitigation (like wearing masks) into a political issue? Not burning down local businesses because cops shot a black guy? The endless public theater over people who don't think or believe the same things?

    and punishing employers

    By taxing them too much? Less money into Govt!

    Among other things, by putting in tax and regulatory disincentives to employ people - like high taxes per employee and large regulatory obstacles when businesses hit certain numbers of employees (50 full time employees is a popular regulatory threshold in the US). Put in a disincentive to employ people and those businesses employ less people. Amazing how that works.

    In any case, all that cash indicates that the economy isn't providing opportunities for investment and employing people, not yet another useless wealth redistribution scheme.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, @08:08PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, @08:08PM (#1146088)

    Another roynd of khallow's tit for tat stupidity. Does anyone actually read his walls of text anymore?

    • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Wednesday June 16, @10:22PM

      by Mykl (1112) on Wednesday June 16, @10:22PM (#1146156)

      I appreciate the fact that he responded to my questions: +1 Interesting. I don't agree with most of his post, but I can appreciate that he has an opinion on it. We are definitely aligned on Infrastructure spending - way too little spend on maintaining existing stuff.

  • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Friday June 18, @12:51AM (3 children)

    by deimtee (3272) on Friday June 18, @12:51AM (#1146791) Journal

    In any case, all that cash indicates that the economy isn't providing opportunities for investment and employing people, not yet another useless wealth redistribution scheme.

    I think this is actually becoming one of the major problems, especially on the small end of the investment scale. At some point, the economy is producing enough to feed, house, and entertain everyone without requiring anywhere near enough human work to keep everyone employed.

    Investing in a new business requires identifying an under-filled need in order to attract customers. It is getting to the point where starting a new business means competing with a giant company, it is just not viable unless you can come up with something that is both truly new and valuable. Not many people can do that, and every time one does there is one less opportunity left. At the same time, big companies are streamlining and using automation and economies of scale to reduce the number of employees.

    The government here is doing exactly the wrong thing. They should be lowering the retirement age and encouraging shorter working weeks. Instead, at least here in Oz, they are doing the exact opposite. The retirement age goes up by one year every two, they keep reducing penalty rates for overtime, and (big surprise!) many of the kids leaving school can't find jobs.

    --
    No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday June 18, @03:19AM (2 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 18, @03:19AM (#1146827) Journal

      I think this is actually becoming one of the major problems, especially on the small end of the investment scale. At some point, the economy is producing enough to feed, house, and entertain everyone without requiring anywhere near enough human work to keep everyone employed.

      The economy does a hell of a lot more than that. A couple of big ones are human longevity and improving our own abilities.

      Investing in a new business requires identifying an under-filled need in order to attract customers. It is getting to the point where starting a new business means competing with a giant company, it is just not viable unless you can come up with something that is both truly new and valuable. Not many people can do that, and every time one does there is one less opportunity left. At the same time, big companies are streamlining and using automation and economies of scale to reduce the number of employees.

      This happens all the time. Giant companies are notorious for being unable to find and deliver new and valuable goods and services. Small businesses explore the many profitable avenues the giants ignore.

      The government here is doing exactly the wrong thing. They should be lowering the retirement age and encouraging shorter working weeks. Instead, at least here in Oz, they are doing the exact opposite. The retirement age goes up by one year every two, they keep reducing penalty rates for overtime, and (big surprise!) many of the kids leaving school can't find jobs.

      Sounds like Oz is forced to be smarter than you (probably because they need the resources from those additional workers to provide the services they've committed to). This is far from the first time that someone has come up with a relatively sensible list of problems and then proposed a solution that requires turning their back completely on the problems they just acknowledged. Deliberately shrinking the labor market won't identify under-filled needs nor create more small and medium sized businesses. Instead, it destroys resources like labor that would otherwise be applied to such problems.

      It's a problem creator, not a problem solver.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by deimtee on Friday June 18, @05:21AM (1 child)

        by deimtee (3272) on Friday June 18, @05:21AM (#1146859) Journal

        The economy does a hell of a lot more than that. A couple of big ones are human longevity and improving our own abilities.

        Which changes the actual point of that paragraph by about 0.4 iotas.

        This happens all the time. Giant companies are notorious for being unable to find and deliver new and valuable goods and services. Small businesses explore the many profitable avenues the giants ignore.

        Except the giants aren't ignoring them anymore. Set up almost any innovative new small business and some large company will crush it.

        Deliberately shrinking the labor market won't identify under-filled needs nor create more small and medium sized businesses.

        The labour market is currently over-supplied. This is evidenced by the difficulty young people have in entering it. Raising the retirement age is like eating your seedcorn. By the time those geriatrics are finally knocked off by COVID 2040 or something society is going to hit a wall where no-one knows how to do the jobs. 30 year-olds on unemployment for 10 years are not ideal trainees and no trainers will be around anyway. Early retirement forces the companies to train the next generation now.

        Yes we should be massively investing in life-extension, medical research, space, all that stuff. Now what percentage of people do you think can realistically contribute to that sort of endeavor? I would say less than 1% of people have the capability to undertake research at that level.

        --
        No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday June 18, @07:42AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 18, @07:42AM (#1146879) Journal
          That's some pretty bizarre claims there. Much of the world just doesn't have those problems. Maybe you ought to at what works rather than listen to suicide cults [wikipedia.org].

          The claim that giants aren't ignoring the small fry and "crushing" them is bunk. For example, one such phenomena is for small companies to cut in on large companies' business merely by replicating what made the large company successful in the first place. This happens a lot in the retail, grocery, and restaurant sectors, for example. The big company gets sloppy and often a small company just inserts itself, often using the same tricks that the big company once used.

          Second, my point about your paragraph, which you complete miss, is that there is huge room for the economy to improve our lives. Sure, there's only so much food you can eat - we can only go so far there. But there's a lot more life you could be living. There's a lot more knowledge you could be learning. Places you could go. Etc. Treating those far more open-ended needs/wants the same as food and shelter is profoundly ignorant.

          Third, let's look at this paragraph:

          The labour market is currently over-supplied. This is evidenced by the difficulty young people have in entering it. Raising the retirement age is like eating your seedcorn. By the time those geriatrics are finally knocked off by COVID 2040 or something society is going to hit a wall where no-one knows how to do the jobs. 30 year-olds on unemployment for 10 years are not ideal trainees and no trainers will be around anyway. Early retirement forces the companies to train the next generation now.

          As I already noted, there's a number of countries that don't have trouble with over-supplied labor markets. They don't need to do any of the above. It's time to look at what works.

          What I find particularly remarkable is your lack of interest in finding solutions that don't blatant cause the problems you're complaining about. For example, if we reduce human participation in labor (which is what your previous suggestions about early retirement and shortening the work week would do), then 30 year olds who haven't seen work aren't going to be your biggest problems. A huge pile of people who aren't doing anything will be your biggest problem.

          Further, you complain about lack of experience among workers while proposing policies - like getting rid of the most experienced workers - that will just make it worse. At least propose something that makes things better.

          It's throwing away the seed corn to throw away good workers because of some ridiculous ideological goal. Get more employers - not throw more workers out.

          Yes we should be massively investing in life-extension, medical research, space, all that stuff. Now what percentage of people do you think can realistically contribute to that sort of endeavor? I would say less than 1% of people have the capability to undertake research at that level.

          A lot more than 1%. Research doesn't happen in a vacuum nor is it the largest part of investing in "all that stuff". You need a lot of infrastructure, support staff, and implementation staff. For example, suppose your "less than 1%" researcher comes up with an idea for extending life span by 10 years. Well, how do you know it'd work? It needs to be tested. More than 1% of the population can do serious work there. Then when such treatments work, you need to apply them to people. That requires more staff, again more than 1%. All those people need low skill work done, like empty trashcans, moving packages, greeting people, and such. And of course, now that you have a large group of wealthier people working in this industry, they need stuff from the general market - landscaping, childcare, auto and housework, etc.

          The ignorance here is remarkable. There is a simple answer to this supply and demand problem - increase the demand for workers. It's worked for centuries, far longer than any of us have been alive. We should wonder why you're deliberately choosing the more painful and harmful route rather than the obvious route. But this would require us to actually throw some bennies to the people who actually hire rather than the rest who don't.

          My take is that ultimately this is yet another lobbying effort for a lifestyle. As a near libertarian, I have no trouble with you living however you like (bar the usual imposition on other peoples' rights), but I see no reason we should structure society to accommodate your desired lifestyle. Figure out how to fund it yourself. Don't cripple your society for your own selfish interests.