Thursday, 8 January 2015

A move towards full reserve banking.

According to this Wall Street Journal article, the US central bank, the Fed, has been considering letting everyone or at least a bigger range of people than previously have an account at the Fed.

They’re not actually going ahead with the idea, but it’s interesting that they’ve been considering it.

Those accounts would come to the same thing as Positive Money’s “safe accounts”.

Another advocate of full reserve banking who also advocates letting everyone have an account at the Fed is William Hummel.

In contrast, the rules of full reserve ARE BEING imposed on money market mutual funds in the US according to this Forbes article by Keith Weiner. By “rules of full reserve” I mean the following.

1. Where an MMF (or any bank or bank-like entity) promises to return to investor / depositors $X for every $X deposited, then the MMF can only invest that money in an ultra-safe manner: i.e. lodge the money at the central bank or invest in short term government debt.

2. The corollary of that of course is that where the MMF / bank invests in anything else (e.g. lends to mortgagors or businesses), the MMF cannot promise to return to depositors the exact sum deposited. Thus deposits become more like shares.

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