Thursday, December 24, 2009

Two threads -- what I learned

I strongly recommend the thread on Unqualified Reservations (not the post). Some key things I learned:

1. Even people in banking do not seem to understand how banking works. The Academy, and therefore the Fed, are most clueless though.
2. Post-Keynesians tend to focus on how loans create reserves, that then get cycled into deposits via the overnight interbank lending market. In practice, banks run a day-to-day Treasury function that tries to fund assets with liabilities other than borrowed bank reserves overnight. The degree to which banks utilize the overnight interbank market varies by bank and bank business model, but generally, they try to get deposits and other liabilities instead.

This makes sense since bank profit is generated by the spread, and the lower your cost of capital, the higher your profit margins (as lending is capital constrained).

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