by J. D. Heyes, Natural News:
Few could have envisioned it even just a few years ago, but it’s happening now, and on an ever-widening scale. More big U.S. banks are shunning cash, because the banking system has become so dependent on other “assets” that large cash deposits actually pose a threat to their financial health, according to The Wall Street Journal.
State Street Corporation, a Boston-based institution that manages assets for institutional investors, has, for the first time, begun charging some customers for making large cash deposits, according to people familiar with the development.
And the largest U.S. bank in terms of assets — JP Morgan Chase & Co. — has dramatically cut “unwanted” deposits to the tune of $150 billion this year alone, in part by charging customers fees.
What gives? What kind of world do we live in when banks no longer want cash?
As the WSJ reported:
“The developments underscore a deepening conflict over cash. Many businesses have large sums on hand and opportunities to profitably invest it appear scarce. But banks don’t want certain kinds of cash either, judging it costly to keep, and some are imposing fees after jawboning customers to move it.”
As usual, the problem originated largely in Washington, D.C.
The paper said the banks’ actions are being driven by low interest rates (set by the Fed) that eat into profits, as well as “regulations adopted since the financial crisis to gird banks against funding disruptions,” adding in a separate report that a number of large financial institutions have become more dependent on buying and selling stocks, bonds and commodities like oil.
The latest round of fees for large deposits stems from regulators’ deeming them risky. They are sometimes dubbed hot-money deposits that analysts believe is likely to flee quickly in a crisis (think runs on Greek banks recently, which the government eventually curbed).
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