Toward Public Policy Support for High-value Trade

21 August 2021

I prefer a society that is biased toward trader/merchants; where one lives on the spread and retains the majority of her earnings.  Wage earning is a fancy term for slavery where many in the labor market are subjugated to selling a precious commodity over which they have illusionary control: time.

The irony is that what one earns for their time is inversely related to the wealth of knowledge they have amassed over time.  Unfortunately for the wage earner, the valuation of their labor is made not by the ultimate end user of their product but by the middle man corporation that employs them.  Rather than selling time to the corporation, time should be another input that labor uses to create and sell their product.

Today’s technology makes such a self-ownership approach increasingly feasible depending on the wage earner’s vocation.  Some of us can transition from wage earner to merchant due to digitalization and that sector of the information/knowledge/problem solving industry that we sit in.  So used are we to selling time that we must now start to think of the utilities, database subscriptions, and equipment costs incurred in producing an information product and sell that product at a sufficient margin; to live via the “carry trade.”

The trader wants a profitable balance sheet, one where she has a healthy surplus.  Bankers that provide liquidity to traders also want traders to enjoy a profitable balance sheet because it assures repayment of leverage.

But bankers also want to fund activities generating high returns and I think to ensure that traders are disciplined enough to seek out information on high return activity, banks will want to assess higher interest rates and other margin requirements in order to weed out low-return low value activity.  The Federal Reserve could encourage high-value search behavior by increasing the fed funds and discount window rates.  The Federal Reserve could also start driving up rates by unwinding its monthly purchases of $120 billion in US Treasury and agency-backed mortgage securities.

Higher rates will encourage living on the spread and the seeking of higher returns.

For a consultation on any regulatory or legislative discussions or announcements, please reach out to us at altondrew@altondrew.com for information on consultation rates and to reserve an appointment.

Treasury secretary seeks $455 billion from Federal Reserve in order to return to Congress …

As of 9:31 am AST 20 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .06%

6-month: .09%

12-month: .10%

2-year: .16%

10-year: .83%

30-year: 1.55%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major political/legal event in the United States

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released the following:

Today U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin sent a letter to Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Jerome Powell requesting a 90-day extension of the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF), the Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF), the Money Market Liquidity Facility (MMLF) and the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF). 

“With respect to the facilities that used CARES Act funding (PMCCF, SMCCF, MLF, MSLP, and TALF), I was personally involved in drafting the relevant part of the legislation and believe the Congressional intent as outlined in Section 4029 was to have the authority to originate new loans or purchase new assets (either directly or indirectly) expire on December 31, 2020. As such, I am requesting that the Federal Reserve return the unused funds to the Treasury. This will allow Congress to re-appropriate $455 billion, consisting of $429 billion in excess Treasury funds for the Federal Reserve facilities and $26 billion in unused Treasury direct loan funds,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

“In the unlikely event that it becomes necessary in the future to reestablish any of these facilities, the Federal Reserve can request approval from the Secretary of the Treasury and, upon approval, the facilities can be funded with Core ESF funds, to the extent permitted by law, or additional funds appropriated by Congress. I am deeply honored to have worked on executing these programs and hope that because of our collective actions, Congress will show similar trust in Federal Reserve Chairs and Treasury Secretaries in the future.”

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury

As of 10:39 am 12 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates

As of 10:39 am 12 November 2020, U.S. Treasury rates and Federal Funds rates are as follows:

3-month: .09%

6-month: .010%

12-month: .12%

2-year: .17%

10-year: .92%

30-year: 1.69%

Fed Funds Rate: 0.08%

Federal Reserve Target: 0.25%

Prime Rate: 3.25%

Source: Bloomberg

Major political/legal event in the United States

Federal Reserve Vice-chair Quarles testifies before House Financial Service committee today

Randal K. Quarles, vice-chair for supervision for the Federal Reserve, will testify today before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.  His testimony will focus on the Federal Reserve’s supervisory activities in the context of the ongoing pandemic.

The Democratic Party will maintain control of the financial services committee in the next Congress.  There will likely be signals as to where committee chairwoman, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, would like Congress and the Biden administration to focus legislative and regulatory initiatives.

Source: Federal Reserve