US banking system may have problems with excess liquidity

English Apr 8, 2020

After concerns about the lack of liquidity, the United States' banking system now appears to have the opposite problem: excess money. According to KWB analysts, the trends observed in the repurchase market (repo) show that there is an "abundant cash supply".

With access to cash, companies are saving resources in savings, which, along with the liquidation of risky assets, floods banks with liquidity. Deposits in US commercial banks grew by more than $ 420 trillion from late February to March 18, an extraordinary amount that makes this the worst March for deposit growth, according to Autonomos Research.

In this context, the Federal Reserve has authorized larger banks to temporarily exclude Treasuries and cash deposits from the Fed from their assets account for certain leverage level calculations. Banks can only lend a portion of what they hold under the capital rules, so many of these deposits actually end up in the Fed or Treasuries.

The American central bank said that its temporary rule would allow it to reduce capital requirements by about 2%. He also called on banks not to use this freed up capacity to distribute capital to shareholders, but to "mitigate the effects of (capital) restrictions and enable better support for the economy".

The challenge now is to get the money to the sectors that need it most. Even for banks, which still face other capital requirements, releasing leverage does not mean that they will have an unlimited predisposition to lend, or even that they should do so. Liquidity is an important part of allowing credit to flow. But it can't go that far to help people who have lost their jobs, or companies that don't have customers.


Morel Hernandes

Writer passionate about politics, economics, blockchain and crypto-currencies.