by Lee Adler, Wall Street Examiner
UPDATE- The Fed renewed its Term Deposit facility a couple of weeks ago initially taking in $110 billion in 7 day deposits paying 26 basis points. That amount rose to $219 billion today from 69 banks.Since these payments reduce the surplus which the Fed returns to the US Treasury, the taxpayer bears the cost of the program. The US taxpayer is now on the hook for a direct subsidy to the banks on excess cash which the Fed handed them for nothing in the first place. This is an outrage. Below are the post and video I originally wrote and produced on this on June 20, 2014.
June 20, 2014 – Here’s something I missed back in May that makes me mad as hell. And it should make you mad as hell too.
The Fed has expanded its Term Deposit Operations, moving more spaghetti around on the plate, the plate being the liability side of its balance sheet- aka “money.” The Fed announced that it would do 8 weekly operations with its member banks beginning on May 19. The first 4 are at approximately 26 basis points, then the next 4 at 30 basis points. These deposits are like bank CDs with a term of 7 days.
This is a direct giveaway to the banks at the expense of US taxpayers. Subject to the $10 billion per bank limit, the banks will shift as much of their excess cash as they can from their regular deposit accounts at the Fed (aka reserves) to these higher interest bearing term deposits. This is cash which the Fed has given them for free in the first place. Earn free income from free money. Nice work if you can get it.
Last week those term deposits grew by $16 billion on the Fed’s balance sheet from an operation conducted June 2. That’s just a drop in the bucket compared to what’s coming. The June 9 operation shifted $78 billion into these giveaways.
Meanwhile the Fed will continue to send them more free cash, week in and week out under QE, even though those amounts are somewhat reduced. The trick there is that the Taper does not reduce the excess cash the dealers get because the Fed has been matching QE to Treasury supply. That’s a whole ‘nother story, however, which I cover in depth in the weekly Fed Report (next one coming up this afternoon).
This will have absolutely no impact on the Fed’s balance sheet or the Primary Dealer Balance sheets. They’re still short term liabilities to the Fed and short term assets of the banks. To the banks, there’s no practical difference between their regular deposits at the Fed and a one week term deposit. It’s all excess liquidity which can be used for mischief making whenever they damn well please. The only impact will be that the additional free income the Fed now literally hands over to the banks will increase the banks’ bottom lines. This cash will subsequently be transferred to the pockets of bank CEOs and executives in the form of increased bonuses and stock option buybacks.
These payments reduce the surplus that the Fed returns to the Treasury each month. The $78 billion of these term deposits which the Fed issued last week will show up on the H41 to be published this Thursday. The interest paid to the banks on that will come right out of taxpayers’ pockets. It’s just more welfare for the banksters at our expense. It’s an outrage.
Another outrage-this story has gotten virtually no coverage in the mainstream media. Either the Fed snuck this past them, or the media just does not care. I suspect the latter.
The next facility grew to $93 billion. More money for nothing- a gift to the banks from taxpayers. The greatest transfer of wealth in history goes on.