Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Banking confidence game

Or should I say “The Banking con game”? Either way, it amounts to the same thing: The belief that money you deposit with a bank will be available to you on demand. As if money was a physical entity deposited in a box in the bank, to be reclaimed at will.

But it doesn’t work that way. The money you deposit in a bank is simply a number entered into the bank’s ledger as a liability for the bank to you. A promise to pay you upon demand.

On the other side of the ledger the bank will create loans to approved applicants and in the process create money numbers in the accounts of said applicants to the value of the approved loan. These repayable-with-interest loans are then classified as assets for the bank.

This way of operating by a bank is enacted in law in the country in which the bank is situated and there is a snag: Neither the money deposited by savers, nor the money lent out to borrowers, belong to the bank.

In order to be allowed to operate, a bank needs to have legal ownership of a sufficient amount of money, like share capital and operating earnings, to cover day to day cheque clearing operations by the central bank as cheques written on customer loan accounts are processed.

In practice, commercial banks will use short term loans from the central bank to facilitate such day to day operations when needed.

Things can go sideways very quickly if a bank is no longer able to meet its obligations to either depositors or loan customers, creating the conditions for a “banking panic”, where people line up to withdraw their monies.

The banking regulator ought to be aware of this kind of situation well before the “shit hits the fan” and take over the failing bank to prevent a market panic.

That evidently did not happen at an early stage in the case of the Silicon Valley Bank, creating jitters in the whole financial system, due to the interdependency of financial institutions.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Similarities, Ukraine - Taiwan

Conflicts between nations and alliances seem to begin when one party lays claim to territory said to “belong” to it. On 1 September 1939 the Germans attacked the Westerplatte peninsula in the port of GdaƄsk. This assault marks the beginning of the Second World War.

The Germans had long laid claim to “Danzig”, as they called it, and it had a 98% German population in 1939. (410,000)

The Russian position in regards to parts of Ukraine is now well known and it is asserting ownership by way of cannon fire at this time.

Xi Jinping just got installed for his third term as President in China and claims Chinese ownership of Taiwan, so far having failed to deliver on that promise.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration in the US asserts that Ukraine and Taiwan are both ‘independent’ nations (with a LOT of help from their friends, i.e. principally the backers of the Biden administration.)

Historically, a well known recipe for war. And WE are asked to pay the price.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

In Flanders fields...

... the poppies grow. That poem was written in 1915 by John McCrae as a result of the carnage suffered in the Great War where blood and guts fertilized the fields of war along with nitrogen deposits from the explosives used.

It is a call to keep fighting, on and on, to beat the foe. For what?
Apart from bringing down one empire in order to temporarily bolster another one, what was achieved? A generation of young men was lost and mangled on both sides of the conflict.

The conflict degenerated into a slogging match using artillery shells and whosoever was able to keep up the barrage the longest won the day.

Fast forward 100+ years and we are back in the same hole in Ukraine where two empires are dishing it out using cannon shells and young bodies to fertilize the fields of that country again. Nothing new in the last 1000 or so years.