A Record $2 Trillion In Deposits Over Loans - The Fed's Indirect Market Propping Pathway Exposed

Tyler Durden's picture

Perhaps one of the most startling and telling charts of the New Normal, one which few talk about, is the soaring difference between bank loans - traditionally the source of growth for banks, at least in their Old Normal business model which did not envision all of them becoming glorified, Too Big To Fail hedge funds, ala the Goldman Sachs "Bank Holding Company" model; and deposits - traditionally the source of capital banks use to fund said loans. Historically, and logically, the relationship between the two time series has been virtually one to one. However, ever since the advent of actively managed Central Planning by the Fed, as a result of which Ben Bernanke dumped nearly $2 trillion in excess deposits on banks to facilitate their risk taking even more, the traditional correlation between loans and deposits has broken down. It is time to once again start talking about this chart as for the first time ever the difference between deposits and loans has hit a record $2 trillion! But that's just the beginning - the rabbit hole goes so much deeper...

There are many reasons why the deposit hoard has continued to rise in the past 4 years, and according to the latest H.8 statement just hit a record $9.173 trillion as of December 12. This compares to $7.259 trillion in the week after the Lehman collapse: an increase of $1.9 trillion.

One contributing factor to this surge in deposits is the collapse in the Commercial Paper market (driven in big part due to the ongoing lack of counterparty faith as well as the ongoing Fed intervention in every possible market which has the paradoxical impact of eliminating confidence in the system and the desire by corporations to be able to fund themselves at a moment's notice come hell or high water) coupled with the unlimited insurance of various deposits courtesy of the government's Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program, which however will expire in 5 days, and which has made deposits the preferred pathway of preserving liquidity "dry powder" for both corporations and individuals.

But perhaps the biggest driver of the surge in deposits is the Fed's own ongoing liquidity tsunami, which using various traditional and shadow conduits has injected nearly the entire $2 trillion amount into the banking system (as Excess Reserves, Reverse Repos, Deposits with Federal Reserve Banks, and Other Fed Liabilities which combined conveniently amount to just about $1.8 trillion), which then via reflexive shadow pathways, most notably repo, has translated into an actual excess of cash to the bank's balance sheet: perfectly fungible cash which can then be used for any generic purpose: such as prop trading under the guise of "hedging" as JPM so vividly demonstrated a few months back. More on this in a second.

While the source of the cash for record deposits - i.e., the ever so incorrectly classified "cash on the sidelines" is debatable (but not much), one thing is certain: the total issuance of loans since the Lehman collapse in September of 2008 has barely budged and has increased by a whopping... -120.6 billion! That's a negative.

Indeed, in the past 4+ years, bank loan issuance has declined from $7.27 trillion to $7.15 trillion! To keep up with the increase in deposits, at least based on the historical relationship between deposits and loans, this number would have to be $2 trillion higher today, or some $9.2 trillion - money that would be going to individuals, households, and small, medium and large businesses to fund expansion and growth (instead the gross debt issuance frenzy we have seen over the past 3 years is only to refinance existing debt and lower rates: i.e., not only zero, but negative net issuance).

At least we can put to rest any debate whether banks are willing, able or even interested to lend out money in an unprofitable Net Interest Margin environment, such as that the Fed has created currently courtesy of ZIRP and courtesy of constant fronrunning of the Fed's purchases on the long-end.

If that was all, we could end this post here and tell readers to make up their own mind about what is truly happening behind the scenes. But there is much more to discuss about this record excess of deposits over loans. And the "more" is something that was only recently discovered, courtesy of a massive blunder by none other than JPM's Jamie Dimon. It is important to expose the "more" as it is in stark contrast with the conventional thinking adopted by much of the mainstream media (and even us until some time in May of 2012).

The conventional, or wrong way of thinking about the excess funding used by banks is best exemplified by this following headline from a August 20 Bloomberg article titled, "Banks Use $1.77 Trillion to Double Treasury Purchases."

In it the BBG authors note, correctly, that there was an excess $1.77 trillion in deposits over loans: a number which has since risen to $2.019 trillion as this post observes. Where the article is dead wrong is in its explanation of what the banks use said money for. Because while banks may or may not have used the excess cash for Treasury purchases (recall that we first highlighted that Primary Dealers held a record $140 billion in net Treasurys as of the latest week), the reality is that US Treasury paper is most certainly not what the final use of proceeds is.

Recall that as we have been describing for the past 3 years, a primary driver of "growth" in the US market, if not economy, has been the ability to transform asset and liability exposure off the books using various shadow conduits. The primary such conduit is and has always been repo funding (and various other forms of limited and/or unlimited rehypothecation made so popular after the collapse of MF Global). What repo does is it allows banks to exchange their holdings of Security X (in this case trasury) in exchange for nearly par cash courtesy of some custodian bank - and when it comes to the US non tri-party repo market there are only two: State Street and Bank of New York.

The biggest benefit of Repo financing is that the bank can still hold the original pledged security on its books for Fed "supervision" purposes, even as it obtains fungible cash equivalents via repo, cash which it can then use for whatever downstream purposes it desires such as purchasing stocks. This is where it gets confusing, and certainly confused our friends at Bloomberg who arrived at the wrong conclusion in their analysis.

A good summary of what really happens under the hood when account for repo comes from Citi's brilliant head of credit, Matt King, and his legendary note from September 5, 2008 "Are The Brokers Broken?" (which should be required reading for everyone), where he described the scheme as follows:

Paragraph 15 of the accounting rule FAS 140 stipulates that the amount referred to on the balance sheet statement need only be “collateral pledged to counterparties which can be repledged to other counterparties”. A further portion of the financial instruments owned – which is in many cases substantial – is reported in the 10-Q footnotes of “collateral pledged to counterparties which cannot be repledged”. An example might be tri-party repo, where until recently some custodians could not cope with the administrative complications of rerepoing received collateral. Although the assets themselves have always featured on the balance sheet, the fact that this non-repledgeable portion too is funded on repo is less widely appreciated. The combined volume – once it is arrived at – comes close to 50% of all financial instruments owned.

And this is where everyone loses the plotline, because the reality is that virtually half the balance sheet of US brokers can be repoed back to custodians, in the process leading to double, triple, and x-ple counting a single asset serving as deliverable collateral, and using and reusing (if need be), the cash proceeds, net of a token haircut (or no haircut in the case of English rehypotecation transactions), every single time purchasing riskier assets to generate a return on a return on a return of the original investment. In short: the magic of off-balance sheet accounting which allows brokers to abuse their already TBTF status and lever any underlying asset to the helt and beyond.

Think of Shadow Banking as your own in house synthetic structured product, allowing virtually unlimited leverage.

"Pure Hogwash!" One may say. "These are ridiculous allegations with no base in reality." One may add. We thought so too until the JPM "whale trade" fiasco happened, and all the dirt of the synthetic deposit-funding repo pathways was exposed for all to see.

Presenting Exhibit A, which comes directly from page 24 of JP Morgan's June 13 Financial Results appendix, in which the firm laid out, for all to see, just how it is that the Firm generated over $5 billion in prop trading losses in its Chief Investment Office unit - a department which had previously been tasked with "hedging" trades but as it turned out, was nothing but a glorified, and blessed from the very top, internal hedge fund, one with $323 billion in Assets Under Management! To wit:

The chart above shows the snapshot - from the horse's mouth -of how a major "legacy" bank, one engaged in both deposits and lending, decided to use the "deposit to loan gap" which had swelled to $423 billion at just JPM (blue box in middle), and led to $323 billion in CIO "Available For Sale securities."

What happened next is well-known to all: JPM's Bruno Iksil, together with Ina Drew and the rest of the CIO group (all of whom have since been dismisses), decided to put on a massive bet amounting to over $100 billion in notional across the credit spectrum (the one place where a position of this size could be established without becoming the entire market, although by the time it imploded Bruno Iksil was the market in IG9 and various other indices and tranches). The loss was just as staggering, and amounts to what is one of the largest prop bets gone horribly wrong in history.

Now the JPM spin is well-known: the CIO was merely there to "hedge" exposure, as a direct prop bet would be illegal as per the Volcker Rule, not to mention the avalanche of lawsuits and the regulatory nightmare that would ensue if it became clear that the firm was risking what amount to deposit capital to fund massive, highly risky prop trading bets. Which, when one cuts out the noise, is precisely what JPM did of course, especially since the "hedge" trade blew up just as the market tumbled in the spring of 2012, a time when it should have otherwise hedged the balance of the firm's otherwise bullish posture. That it did not do this refutes the logic that this was a hedge, and confirms that what JPM was doing was nothing short of using an internal, heavily shielded hedge fund, which had $323 billion in collateral as investible equity, to trade away, knowing very well no regulator would dare touch JPM. This is further compounded by the fact, that as one of only two Tri-Party repo dealers in the market (and by far the greater of the two, the second one being the innocuous Bank of New York Mellon), JPM could run circles around both the entire market, and the Fed, if it so chose, courtesy of its monopoly position in the repo market.

* * *

So where does that leave us?

Well, instead of JPM's "deposit to loan gap" discussion, whose massive loss (but, but, hedging...) was the dominant topic on the airwaves for a large part of the summer of 2012, we have the US financial system's "deposits to loan gap" - amounting to some $2 trillion - to contend with. But the punchline is that whereas JPM's decided to express its prop risk using fixed income instruments, and certainly not to buy simple boring Treasurys as the Bloomberg article speculated earlier, nothing prevented JPM from simply bidding up other risky assets "as a hedge" such as stocks, or crude, or slamming silver, or doing anything else it was perfectly entitled to do using the repledging mechanics of the repo system. And since Jamie Dimon has not yet given a full P&L breakdown listing CUSIP by CUSIP just what instruments JPM depositors were funding - either directly or indirectly - nobody actually knows just what securities the CIO was long or short.

The question then becomes: just how are the remaining hundreds of depositor US banks expressing their own iteration of the JPM CIO "deposits over loans" problem? Are they all trading CDS in the IG or HY space? Are they using repo proceeds from TSY purchases to generate fungible cash? Or are they simply using the cash directly and using it to big up risk assets?

All these questions will remain unanswered as it is in both the banks' and, therefore, regulators' best interests to keep the accounting behind repo, pledging and hypothecation transactions as is - nebulous, complicated and even contradictory (especially when it comes to FAS 140 whose paragraph 15 (d) makes borrowed versus pledged transactions off balance sheet, while paragraph 94 makes them on balance sheet), as overhauling the reporting requirements would expose just how much double-, triple-, quadruple- and more dipping America's major money centers are engaged in when it comes to propping up the market: dirt that would put the result of any "Audit the Fed" outcome to shame.

And after all, why should the Fed dirty its hands when it can simply provide the banks with the cash resources to do what they need without it having to engage in what is certainly illegal based on any of its charters. Because while the Liberty 33 Plunge Protection Team may, on occasion, engage the Citadel trading desk to buy ES at times when nobody else will step up, it certainly will not have to do so all the time if it were to flood banks with $2 trillion (soon to be $3, then $4 trillion as QE4EVA drags on and on and on...) in perfectly fungible capital, which can be metamorphozed from innocuous Excess Reserves to perfectly tradeable cash using two or three simple shadow banking transformations.

In that regard, we have to thank Jamie Dimon and his firm for being the biggest beacon of light in 2012, because without the generous contribution of the JPM CIO desk, and its explanation of how the "deposit to loan gap" we would all still be in the dark, and just like Bloomberg, assume naively that all a bank does with excess trillions in deposits, is to buy boring old treasurys.

Instead, we now know the truth, and for that Jamie - you have our sincerest gratitude.

* * *

Finally, the indirect implication of all this is for all those demanding that the "money on the sidelines" leaves the sidelines and is once again used by companies. The problem is that said money is already used by banks as prop trading capital: likely all $2 trillion of it (and if re-hypothecated, more) - in other words, if instead of being used by banks to prop up corporate stocks and risk in general, companies revert to the old mentality of actually reinvesting in themselves - i.e, CapEx spending, hiring new people, even M&A and generally growth - the fungible cash used by banks as investing capital will be redeemed and result in commensurate sales of stocks. Which means that should said "sideline capital" ever be pulled back by the same companies who are now granting, unbeknownst to them, direct asset management duties of said cash by the US banks, then watch out below, at least in the S&P. Which, as the Fed has made all too clear, is the only thing that matters in the New Normal.

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HD's picture

I have NEVER seen a chart like that. Unbelievable.

idea_hamster's picture

As long as Fed member banks pay ~0% to borrow from the Fed and "earn" 0.25% on excess reserve deposits with the Fed, there is little reason to expect this trend to reverse.

But that's just a symptom of the broader problem:  the idea that the Finanstocracy has their own rule on interest spreads while we all get socked with negative real returns fits quite nicely with the real "new normal" -- one rule for the wealthy, another for the plebes.

The image, however, speaks volumes.

Divided States of America's picture

Basically this means that it may not be even safe to keep your deposits in the TBTF banks. Under the mattress may be safer....and remember to make sure that your wealth is in rock solid shiny form.

ZerOhead's picture

Shiny is preferable to paper however Lehman is dead so that all other TBTF's could live... and don't forget that

your matress doesn't own the Federal Reserve and the regulators.

SafelyGraze's picture

"Lehman is dead so that all other TBTF's could live"

that is a beautiful message to share during this blessed holiday season

on sep 15 (aka Lehmanday) the people purchase D-rated securities and then begin fasting

Manthong's picture

Ok Class.. What words do these letters spell ?





F D I C  F U L L I N S U R A N C E E N D S I N F I V E D A Y S  

francis_sawyer's picture

Does that mean there are TWO new sheriffs in town?...

flacon's picture

J O N   -   C O R Z I N E

(the honorable)

strannick's picture



Wish I had a Hedge Fund with .3 trillion AUM and only Bart Chilton and the rest of the CFTC Inspecter Clouseaus to regulate me. (It was the CFTC -Commisioner Jill Sommers in particular- who gave Corazine the green light, though Im not sure if Sommers was actually wearing a ''Free John Corazine'' T-shirt at the time.

TwoShortPlanks's picture

Exactly who/what the fuck is ZeroHedge...a media outlet for the 'Committee Of 300' or something? I really don't care, but this isn't half a dozen people rooting through financial garbage, this is Think Tank (Intelligence) type digging.

GetZeeGold's picture


Exactly who/what the fuck is ZeroHedge...a media outlet for the 'Committee Of 300' or something?


So are you looking for a fight or what bitch?

TwoShortPlanks's picture

I fight hard targets, not soft....sorry!

awakening's picture

I do that all the time, bitch of a thing has a mohs rating of 7 to get through to unearth the good stuff ;)

smlbizman's picture

he does not know the first rule of fight club, does he.....

SAT 800's picture

You have a wry sense of humor.

WTFUD's picture

Lehman isn't dead buddy just check the " nominee" accounts as far away as the Oz ASX and they live on!! TBTF can never die; just hibernate in another Ponzi entity.

eclectic syncretist's picture

Who's really sucking on the government tit?  It's the banks more than any other person or entity, by far.

Element's picture

Notice how the wavy post-ZIRP blue line is getting ready to roll over into another decline?

No wonder they're pumping the sewers full of 'liquidity'.

Dapper Dan's picture

Interesting story.

More $100 bills in circulation than ever before,

Interview by Kai Ryssdal

Marketplace for Friday, November 23, 2012

If we bet you that almost 80 percent of U.S. greenbacks in circulation are $100 bills -- would you take that action?

Well, it's true. According to Matt Phillips, at least. He reported a story recently in Quartz, the new business website from the Atlantic. He found that the percentage of U.S. currency printed as $100 bills has steadily increased over the past 40 years.

Turns out, those Benjamins are being used for all sorts of things. They're popular in the black market and could be used to launder money. But they're also hoarded by people in developing countries where local currencies aren't as strong as the dollar.

Exactly how many of those $100 bills are floating around overseas? It's difficult to know for sure but Phillips says recent estimates suggest about 25-30 percent of U.S. currency is outside of the United States.

If this surprises you, you're not alone. Phillips says this "does seem to fly in the face that we were going to have a cashless economy," especially based on how people tend to shop in this country. "If you were going to make a purchase in the U.S. for a couple hundred dollars, you'd probably still use...plastic of some sort to do it. That's part of one reason why people think it might be a foreign phenomenon."

And one fun fact from Phillips that didn't make it into the interview that aired? The Federal Reserve ships $100 bills overseas on pallets, each one stacked with 640,000 bills. That means each pallet is worth about $64 million.


No mention in the audio version either that the 100 bills could in fact be held by US citizens under their matteress

blunderdog's picture

      But they're also hoarded by people in developing countries where local currencies aren't as strong as the dollar.

Maybe we just need to invade all those countries to take back our money and give it to our TBTF banks and everything would be all hunkey-dorey...

jekyll island's picture

Don't fret about it. They will be sending them back en mass soon.

MaxMax's picture

Around me in northern NJ, many stores won't take anything larger than a $20 because of the high rate of counterfeit $50's and $100's. 

Sorynn's picture

Keep enough to pay your monhtly bills in the system and remove the rest in one useful form or another.

Widowmaker's picture

I wouldn't put "money" in ANY bank at the present. Convert it to ANYTHING.

America has seen this greasy pinstripe play end before.

All the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't put shattered confidence back together again.


nmewn's picture

Exactly, convert it to anything, that time is now while they're still in the dressing room putting on their makeup.

The play is about to start ;-)

Banksters's picture

Check out credit growth vs real wages since 1970.   The vast majority of Americans are being parasitized by the banks.   The first rule of parasitism, which bernank and his minions understand, is this:  Don't KILL your host.   



Sudden Debt's picture

just watched a documentary about the Boomerang generation in Europe.
young people till 37 years old who return to live with their parents because they can't afford living on their own anymore.

Wages for young people are dropping faster than ever before and they can't even afford to rent anymore.
And that will show how the future of the housing market will look like in 10 years from now... way way way lower than now. inflation or not.

it's clear the banks hold the power. untill there's a generation with guts that kills them off.
luckely, that generation isn't here yet.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 1

I, for one,really appreciate your comments on Europe's situation.

FreedomGuy's picture

What I bet they (the boomerang kids) don't get is that the government is the architect of their problem rather than their economic savior. Remember the first rule of leftist government: All government failures or shortcomings require more government to fix. All of life's problems are fixable with enough taxes and government rules.

When you see Hollande win in France during a depression/recession you can be sure that the leftist fantasy is well entrenched. They cannot see that their collectivist society and beliefs cause their problems any more than the Muslim radicals believe their philosophies are keeping them in the stone age. The problem is always someone or something else.

One day a country will come along that believes in minimal control, government limits, individual responsibility and the general moral superiority of liberty. This country will outstrip the rest of the world in productivity and personal satisfaction and settle for all time the superiority of liberty versus collectivism and autocracy.

Okay, maybe not for all time.


californiagirl's picture

And then all the enterprising, industrious people will move to this fabulous country, raise families, and spoil their kids rotten with their success. And the kids will grow up lazy, self-involved and entitled and decide that wealth needs to be spread around, that Marx was not such a bad guy, and the government should fix everyone's problems like their parents did for them.

Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture


The best that any organization can be is when it is first created be it a country, a corporation, a religion, etc. As time progresses the parasites, termites, and vultures become established weakening and eventually killing their host.

abettertomorrow's picture

There once used to be a Country, alike you say

if I'm not wrong the name of it was USA

from all the world they came along

to see the land of free, brave and strong

but then the sirens commence singing the oldest song

to take upon the weaks the mariners among

and now just have a look around the place

to see how all is falling in disgrace

never mind who happened to rule whether elephant or donkey

they like to turn the whole into a business of monkey


neidermeyer's picture

I used to be disgusted , now I'm just amused...

Salon's picture

I am mad as heck.

And I will probably take a lot more

RockyRacoon's picture

I'm mildly irritated.

And all bent over for more.

TwoShortPlanks's picture

I'm waiting for the lights to go out. Popcorn at the ready!


Radical Marijuana's picture

Me too, neidermeyer, I have nothing left but my macabre sense of humour to laugh at evil. However, it too is getting worn out.

"Deposits," "savings" and "capital" are becoming increasingly meaningless concepts as the runaway fraud of making "money" out of nothing finds more and more excuses to do that! The biggest banks had a trajectory of becoming such totally dominant top predators, that their transformation into fatally overbearing parasites is unstoppable. They ARE going to kill their host populations. The illusions that one could have "savings," that one "deposited" to be accumulated as "capital," to be productively invested, was already shot to hell in principle. When privatized fiat money, made out of nothing, as debts, was first legalized and enforced by governments, the runaway triumph of fraud backed by force was already set in motion, and automatically avalanched.

Fractional reserve banking was always FRAUD. However, it originally was more limited, so that "deposits," "savings" and "capital"were still relatively meaningful concepts for mainstream people. Abstractly speaking, the People were political idiots to allow that system to get going in the first place, but actually they were victims of the runaway triumph of the application of the methods of organized crime, taking control of their governments, in ways that they could not prevent. However, since those mainstream morons were effectively brainwashed to believe in bullshit, and they relatively benefited from participating in the organized systems of lies and robbery that was the economic system, they kept on participating in that vast charade, or pantomimed political economy, which pretended to be all kinds of productive things, that it more and more was less and less in reality. Therefore, OF COURSE, those mainstream morons in the middle class are being wiped out. OF COURSE, "deposits," "savings" and "capital" are becoming relatively meaningless, as the runaway triumphant financial frauds that are controlling the actually existing systems automatically get bigger, faster.

Anyone who seriously attempts to explain to the mainstream morons, the masses of muppets, that "money" is being made out of nothing, and that all their "savings," that they may "deposit" as "capital" to invest, are becoming automatically diminished in significance, will find that the People do not understand, and more importantly, do not want to understand. Ordinary people, according to my experiences of talking face to face with many thousands of them, for many decades, can not understand the realities of monetary system, because they do not want to understand. They do not participate in learning about that, because they do not want to participate. They were brainwashed to believe in bullshit so totally that it is practically impossible for them to even begin to imagine that everything they believed is bullshit. They do not want to even begin to consider that ...

According to my experiences, it is NOT possible for the vast majority of the People to go through the paradigm shifts in perception that they would need to go through, to begin to understand the fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting systems, that have taken control of their lives, and which they pay for, to be enforced against them. Therefore, charts like this are simply indicating the exponential growth of a runaway system of almost totally triumphant financial frauds, which emanates from the heart of the money system itself. It is only going to get way, way worse, until too much of its own success will destroy itself. However, for the foreseeable future, I see nothing that can be practically done to prevent that. The only thing left is to laugh at the evil. The sad absurdities of the vast majority of the People being convinced to believe in ridiculous bullshit social stories have no practical ways to be overcome. The mainstream morons that believed in "deposits," "savings" and "capital" are getting systematically destroyed by the runaway triumph of organized crime, taking over the government, and then legalizing even more lies, backed up by more violence.

I WISH there was something better that was actually possible, than go from being disgusted to being amused, however, as far as I can tell, there is no other coping strategy than to develop one's macabre sense of humour ... although that too is being overwhelmed and worn out by the sheer magnitude of the runaway triumph of absurd lies in control of civilization. HOWEVER, according to several decades of political experiments and activities, that I engaged in, and continue to do, the vast majority of the People are Zombie Sheeple, who do not want to understand. Furthermore, most of those who pretend to educate them are almost always urging everyone to become better Sheep, as the "solutions" to these problems of the runaway triumph of fraud going from marginal predation, to endemic parasitism, that is now out of control towards killing the host.

The productive prey used to be able to meaningfully work to have "savings," to make "deposits," which then were invested in productive ways. However, the legalized, privatized ability to make "money" out of nothing has automatically picked up speed, and has systematically taken control of everything. Those who had the power to make money out of nothing, OF COURSE, found more and more excuses to do that, and therefore, that financial fraud was gradually able to take over everything, until the basic concepts of "deposits," "savings" and "capital" became laughably disconnected, vain absurdities.

blunderdog's picture

     Fractional reserve banking was always FRAUD.

Fractional reserve banking is very useful, expedient, and efficient when placed in the hands of angels.

Jendrzejczyk's picture

Thank you for defying the commonly held stereotype that anyone associated with hemp is incapable of rational and intelligent dialogue.


FreedomGuy's picture

Good points, although I disagree categorically with a few minor points. The basic problem is that almost nothing is real, solid, comprehensible and decipherable in the modern world of finance and banking. Because it is all so heavily manipulated it is hard to know where to put real capital. That is why at the end it is better to own "things" that are concrete, whether it is PM's, farm land or a percentage of your uncle's business.

The question is when it crashes, how it crashes and how to be prepared in a modern society.

Widowmaker's picture

The murder of JFK removed silver from your coins and put fraud in your fiat.  

Perhaps you should be asking deeper questions as "money" in its current form is totally null and void.  You can buy something because "they" let you?

True (tangible) wealth was replaced by power, but by whom, shitizen?

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

The Fed is trying to help the TBTF banks recap themselves... Not working out too well is it?

californiagirl's picture

The FED, with Geithner's help, seems to have done quite a good job so far buying crap (Fannie/Freddie MBS) from the banks and dumping the current and future losses on the U.S. taxpayers via increased national debt issued to fund continuing back-door bailouts.  This long, slow process will continue for many more years.  In the mean time, phony accounting has created "excess reserves" out of thin air so the TBTF banks can pretend they actually have capital.  The FED and regulators will continue to look the other way as the TBTF use all kinds of fraudulent and illegal methods to pilfer more capital for themselves from every source possible. Certainly, "fixing" LIBOR was only a small part of the illegal activity going on.  Why are the banksters not being prosecuted?  They have the silent consent from central bankers and governements to raise capital using any means necessary, damn to taxpayers.