MARK BARNES: In a world where nobody wants cash, proceed with caution
It’s not just in the financial system — major corporates are also handing back the cash
Cash is no longer king. It has been dethroned by the very institutions charged with its conservation. Central banks around the world (with the possible exception of ours, actually), can no longer be regarded as entirely independent of political interference — evidenced by the populist agenda of quantitative easing which, I have argued, has failed.
Practically anything trades at a premium to cash nowadays. Cash isn’t wanted by anybody. Even the major banks in the US are encouraging corporate depositors to move their cash into money market funds as demand for loans doesn’t keep up with banks’ excess liquidity and the looser capital rules (that were in place for Covid) expire. Deposits weigh on profits if not lent out...