Monday, June 1, 2015

Getting Bank Lending, Capital Flight, and Target2 Payments Right

Hans Werner Sinn evidently believes if you say something false enough times people will believe it is true.  He has written an article in which he again demonstrates he does not understand how banks lend money, what constitutes capital flight, and that Target2 credits are not financing.

His misunderstanding of Target2 payments is many years old.  If you want to understand Target2 payments and how they work and function, you only need to read Karl Whelan.  Target2 credits do not create financing for the countries with Target2 credits.  Capital flight is not created by taking out a bank loan and buying assets in a foreign country (read Whelan).  In Greece you see foreign businesses taking money out to insure business liquidity, in the past wealthy Greeks have transferred money out but Greek Tax authorities are going after much of that money, and you do not see  lines of Greek citizens lining up at banks to withdraw money in fear of capital controls even if they could afford a mattress under austerity to hide the money.  Deposits are decreasing in Greece.  However, the problem is austerity and the demands of the Troika to suppress democracy, make loan payments which require more loans, and further destroy the Greek economy and people.

Bank loans are made on the basis of profitability and solvency.  When a bank loans money, it creates a credit and debit of equal amounts which has no effect or dependence on the bank's reserves.  A very recent Bank of England working paper acknowledges this despite the misconception of how banking works by most of the public and some economists.
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But Hans Werner Sinn will just say it again and again and again: damn factual information.

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