6 Comments
Oct 15, 2023Liked by Rusere Shoniwa

Very lucid and clear thinking as usual. I would like though to question one tiny thing you mention and that is the "financial crisis" of 2008 and whether it was quite what it was supposed to be.

The whole idea that banks can get into trouble is a bit difficult for me as I believe they can lend money that they never in fact possessed. Even if the so-called sub-prime borrowers never pay anything at all, which is probably very rare, they, the banks, have in fact lost nothing other than their overheads. And they can take ownership of valuable property on the strength of such loan repayment defaults and sell it for cash.

If they insist on gambling the deposits they have for a few extra percent profit and lose the lot, that is another issue and should be dealt with accordingly.

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Oct 16, 2023Liked by Rusere Shoniwa

As far as I can work out, the normal "retail" bank has about 90% of its assets in created loan "money" and 10% in deposits. It seems this is a rule of fractional reserve banking; a maximum loans to deposits ratio. The bank doesn't absolutely need to invest its deposits to make money and if you can imagine the seemingly unheard-of situation where a bank has kept all deposits intact there could never be a "run" on it (I think). The silicon valley banks that sunk recently were deposit heavy with few loans as silicon valley has no need and is awash with cash. Those banks invested their deposits in bonds or whatever and had to sell them at a loss whenever depositors wanted to withdraw money. A collapse of a bank probably the result of profit maximising so as to provide returns for shareholders or to achieve executive bonus targets or who knows what else.

Also, what I'm thinking is that if bank A sells toxic loan packages to bank B and so on to bank C etc. etc. but they all end up holding the toxic products of one-another when the music stops, what's the difference? There could be, of course, differences between banks in the final accounting but the total value of bad loans is the same as it was. Bank A/B/C averaged out would be in possession of approximately the same amount of bad loans that they started with. Perhaps less, as I guess they generally managed to off-load a few chunks to "unsuspecting" pension funds etc. Could it be that this complicated exercise of packaging, repackaging, reselling etc. was just an attempt (highly successful) at making the waters extremely muddy so we can't exactly make head or tail of the transactions ? So that the average person and even financial journalists can't (or now have an excuse not to try to ) see straight through this "dip" into our pockets ?

As you say, banking is a confidence trick and a Ponzi scheme but the trigger events for the 2008 financial crisis were artificial and the fear spread deliberately by the usual suspects.

I am unconvinced that any retail banks needed to put deposits at risk, the business plan was pretty good without this option, and without retail customers' deposits at risk we would have had no appetite for taxpayer bailouts I think.

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Dec 6, 2023Liked by Rusere Shoniwa

Another brilliant exposé of a crucially important aspect of what I can only refer to in shorthand as 'The Shitshow'. (An aspect that, as you point out, has received insufficient attention to date, includingfrom myself.)

Both parts were eloquently and powerfully argued, and I'm looking forward to watching the film you've recommended. Keep up the great work!

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