By Susanne Walker October 6, 2014 American banks are loading up on the U.S. government debt, as sign they remain cautious on the economy even with the jobless rate at a six-year low and corporations at their healthiest in a generation. Commercial lenders increased their holdings of Treasuries and debt from federal agencies in September by $54 billion … data from the Federal Reserve show…. Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup are among the lenders adding government bonds this year as loan growth fails to keep up with record deposits…. Lenders accumulated so much cash that deposits exceeded loans by the most on record last month. That gap has widened by more than $300 billion in the past year. Bank of America, the second-biggest U.S. bank, has more than quadrupled its available-for-sale holdings of Treasuries and federal agency debt this year to $38.7 billion as of June 30, the latest company filings complied by Bloomberg show. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender now holds more of the securities than at any time since 2012. Citigroup, the New York-based lender that received a $45 billion bailout during the credit crisis, had $103.8 billion of the bonds at the end of June. That’s a 19 percent increase from December and the highest since 2011, the data show…. ————————————————————— US banks are using their cash to purchase more and more Treasuries and government agency debt. What impact will this have on the yields Treasury securities pay? What broader impact might that have on financial markets and the overall US economy? If US banks are using their cash to purchase more and more Treasuries and government agency debt, what impact does that have on the growth rate of money supply? What broader effects might this have on the US and global economies? ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Nathaniel Popper New York Times Deal Book December 13, 2014 The redbrick bank in Weir, Kan., in a building cater-corner from the mortuary on Main Street, does not look much like a candidate for the bank of the future. Inside, an Emerson boombox with a fully extended silver antenna is tuned to KJMK, Classic Hits. The huge steel vault, from the Mosler Safe Company, was used to lock up former owners of the bank overnight during an armed heist in 1959. And the storage room in the back contains an old, unlabeled bottle of brown moonshine. Beneath these holdovers, though, the Citizens Bank of Weir—or CBW, as it was renamed—has been taken apart and rebuilt, from its fiber optic cables up, so it can offer services not available at even the nation’s largest banks. The creation of the new bank, and the maintenance of the old one, are the work of a couple who were born in India and ended up in Kansas after living in Silicon Valley and passing through jobs at Google and Lehman Brothers. Suresh Ramamurthi, 46, and his wife, Suchitra Padmanabhan, 44, bought CBW largely with their savings in 2009, just after the financial crisis…. Their work is an unusual experiment: a new kind of mom-and-pop business trying to reshape a highly regulated and innovation-resistant industry. The new services that CBW is providing, like instant payments to any bank in the United States, direct remittance transfers abroad and specialized debit cards, might seem as if they should be painless upgrades in an age of high-frequency trading and interplanetary space missions. But with most banks, it still takes longer to send money to another country or even to another state than it does to travel the same distance. The slowness of current methods of moving money is a widely acknowledged problem in the financial industry. The Federal Reserve has been holding meetings for its initiative, called Faster Payments, which has the goal of devising safe and speedy payment methods. But hastening the movement of money creates risk for banks, because it generally means less time to catch fraudulent transactions. Having paid fines and penalties for the outsize risks they took before the financial crisis, banks are loath to take on new risks. They have been occupied with “getting their house in order,” rather than introducing products, according to Steve Kenneally, the payment systems specialist at the American Bankers Association…. The most obvious problem to attack was the difficulty of making instant money transfers from one bank account to another. This is already possible in many countries, including Mexico and Britain, but in the United States the primary option that consumers have to transfer money is still the A.C.H. payment. Requests for A.C.H. transfers are collected by banks and submitted in batches, once a day, and the banks receiving the transfers also process the payments once a day, leading to long waits. Wire transfers move faster, with some being settled in hours, but they cost significantly more, and are still not instant. Last year, big banks helped scuttle a plan that would have expedited the A.C.H. system, in part because it would have jeopardized the fees they earn from wire transfers. Large banks are experimenting with faster transfer systems, like QuickPay from JPMorgan Chase, but these are generally instant only between customers of certain banks…. ———————————————————- The article describes a trade-off in two risks banks face: liquidity risk and operational risk. By speeding up payments, banks will be able to turn deposits into cash more quickly, thus increasing liquidity, but at the risk for more potential fraud. Is it worth it? Why or why not? The article also points out that it may not be risks the banks are really concerned with. Why do you think a change in risk management has been so slow to come about? ~~~For this or similar assignment papers~~~
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