I recently provided evidence that banks create credit out of thin air.
I’ve just found two more pieces of evidence:
(1) William C. Dudley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in a speech last July:
Based on how monetary policy has been conducted for several decades, banks have always had the ability to expand credit whenever they like. They don’t need a pile of “dry tinder” in the form of excess reserves to do so. That is because the Federal Reserve has committed itself to supply sufficient reserves to keep the fed funds rate at its target. If banks want to expand credit and that drives up the demand for reserves, the Fed automatically meets that demand in its conduct of monetary policy. In terms of the ability to expand credit rapidly, it makes no difference
(2) On February 10th, Ben Bernanke proposed the elimination of all reserve requirements:
The Federal Reserve believes it is possible that, ultimately, its operating framework will allow the elimination of minimum reserve requirements, which impose costs and distortions on the banking system.
Of course, Bernanke’s proposal is the exact opposite of the 100% reserve system proposed by Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman and Laurence Kotlikoff, former Senior Economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.
More importantly, if banks don’t make loans based on available reserves, but can enter into loan agreements first and then borrow any reserves needed, that means:
(1) This was never a liquidity crisis, but rather a solvency crisis, as I and many others have repeatedly tried to explain. In other words, it was not a lack of available liquid funds which got the banks in trouble, it was the fact that they speculated and committed fraud,so that their liabilities far exceeded their assets. If you don’t understand what I’m saying, please read this
(2) The giant banks are not needed, as the federal, state or local governments or small local banks or credit unions can create the credit instead, if the near-monopoly power the too big to fails are enjoying is taken away, and others are allowed to fill the vacuum.
Hat tip: Rob Parenteau for the Dudley quote.