Revised count. I think the low last week and the subsequent up move is more important than I was previously considering:
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1 year ago
Given that commercial banks are effectively operating without a reserve requirement and that loan issuance is not constrained by reserves, it would be sensible to reconsider the temporal causality posited by the money multiplier theory of lending. If the causality were correct, one would expect changes in reserves to precede changes in the issuance of credit, ceteris paribus. Citing an empirical study on business cycle statistics conducted by the Federal Reserve, Steve Keen explains that the opposite is true:
…rather than [reserves] being created first and credit money following with a lag, the sequence was reversed: credit money was created first, and [reserves were] then created about a year later.
From an Austrian perspective, an empirical argument based on a temporal correlation is not definitive proof of an underlying causality — although it may be illustrative and suggestive of that causality. An explanation for the counterintuitive temporal sequence is provided in a Federal Reserve study of the institutional structure of the US banking system since 1990, conducted by Carpenter and Demiralp. They demonstrate that “reservable liabilities fund only a small fraction of bank lending and the evidence suggests that they are not the marginal source of funding, either.” Their point is that when a bank makes a loan, the matching liability used to fund the loan does not need to be reserves created by the Fed.