1. Deposits in American banks have fallen by half a trillion dollars over the past year, making the financial system more fragile.
2. Money-market funds, which cannot take deposits, are receiving inflows of cash from banks and shuffling deposits around the banking system.
3. The Federal Reserve's reverse-repo facility, introduced in 2013 to aid its exit from ultra-low rates, may be having a destabilizing impact on banks as use of the facility has jumped in recent years due to vast quantitative easing during COVID-19 and regulatory tweaks.
The article "America’s banks are missing hundreds of billions of dollars" by The Economist provides an in-depth analysis of the decline in deposits in American banks and the potential reasons behind it. However, the article has some biases and limitations that need to be addressed.
One-sided reporting: The article focuses primarily on the negative impact of money-market funds on the banking system, without exploring their benefits. Money-market funds provide investors with a low-risk investment option that offers slightly higher returns than traditional bank accounts. They also help to diversify investment portfolios and provide liquidity to financial markets.
Unsupported claims: The article suggests that the Federal Reserve's reverse-repo facility is having a destabilizing impact on banks, but it does not provide sufficient evidence to support this claim. While it is true that the use of the facility has increased in recent years, there is no clear evidence that it is causing a significant decline in deposits in American banks.
Missing points of consideration: The article does not consider other factors that may be contributing to the decline in deposits, such as changes in consumer behavior or increased competition from fintech companies. It also does not explore potential solutions to address this issue, such as offering higher interest rates on deposits or improving customer service.
Possible biases: The article appears to have a bias towards traditional banking institutions and against money-market funds and other non-bank financial institutions. This bias may stem from concerns about financial stability and systemic risk, but it could also reflect a preference for established players in the financial industry.
Unexplored counterarguments: The article does not explore counterarguments to its claims, such as the argument that money-market funds are simply providing consumers with a better alternative to traditional bank accounts. It also does not consider whether there may be other ways for banks to attract deposits or whether they should focus on other sources of funding instead.
In conclusion, while "America’s banks are missing hundreds of billions of dollars" provides valuable insights into the decline in deposits in American banks, it has some biases and limitations that need to be addressed. A more balanced approach would consider both the benefits and drawbacks of different types of financial institutions and explore potential solutions to address this issue.