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Do We Even Need a Banking Sector? by Charles Hugh Smith posted on ZEROHEDGE

Do We Even Need a Banking Sector? by Charles Hugh Smith posted on ZEROHEDGE

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Published by Fukyiro Pinion
Do We Even Need a Banking Sector?
by Charles Hugh Smith
posted on ZEROHEDGE
Do We Even Need a Banking Sector?
by Charles Hugh Smith
posted on ZEROHEDGE

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Published by: Fukyiro Pinion on Jan 16, 2014
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Zero Hedge
Home > Guest Post: Do We Even Need a Banking Sector? Not Any More
Guest Post: Do We Even Need aBanking Sector? Not Any More
Tyler Durden
12/19/2013 - 18:02
Submitted by Tyler Durden
 on 12/19/2013 18:02 -0500ETC
Federal Reserve
Guest Post
Shadow Banking
Too Big To Fail
Submitted b
 y Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds
Do We Even Need a Banking Sector? Not Any More
 An automated banking utility has no need for parasitic bankers opoliticos or indeed, a central bank.
Do we need a banking sector dominated by politically untouchable "TooBig to Fail" (TBTF) banks? Thanks to fast-advancing technology, theanswer is a resounding no
. Not only do we not need a banking sector,we would be immensely better off were the banking sector to witherand vanish from the face of the Earth, along with its parasitic class of political enablers, toadies and Federal Reserve apparatchiks.
The key to understanding why big banks have outlived their purpose isto grasp the implications of computing power, self-organizingnetworks and crowdsourcing
. Banks came into existence to managethe accumulation of capital (savings) and distribute the capital toborrowers in a prudent manner that minimized risk and still yielded areturn for savers and the bank's investors/owners.Back in the pre-computer era, the record-keeping and risk managementprocesses of these two core functions required a complex bureaucracyand a concentration of accounting skills and lending experience. Thecosts of operating this record-keeping and risk managementbureaucracy was high, and these costs justified the bank's fees and
interest rate spread. In an idealized scenario, a bank might paydepositors 3% annual yield on their savings and charge borrowers 5%.The 2% spread was the bank's to keep for performing the accounting,collection and risk management functions.
Today, computers running scripts/programs can perform thesefunctions with minimal human oversight and at very low cost.
 Thetracking and recording of millions of transactions and accounts nolonger requires thousands of clerks and a large institutionalbureaucracy; a relative handful of software engineers are all that'sneeded to maintain these services, which are in effect a low-cost utility.Risk management and lending are also computerized; the humaninterface of a banker is a bow to tradition, not necessity. Crowdsourcedfunding is entirely computerized: those with money/capital choose to join a pool of lenders who accept the risk of lending to an individual,household, project or enterprise for a specified return.
This process of aligning excess capital (savings) with borrowers isalready automated. Is there a role for regulation?
 Absolutely: such asystem requires transparency that can be trusted. Those who violatethis trust with cooked-books, lies, misinformation, etc. must suffernegative, long-lasting consequences, starting with being banned fromthe system.It is an abiding irony that the present banking system's secret portfoliosand processes (shadow banking, derivatives designed to fail and triggerprofitable defaults, etc.) are considered core competitive advantages:
inother words, eliminating transparency generates the highest-returnbank profits.And let's not overlook the political consequences of these immenseprofits: a political and regulatory order that is easily captured to servethe interests of big banks
. The number one agenda item is of course toarrange Central State protection of the most profitable (i.e. the leasttransparent) parts of the banking sector's operations.This lack of transparency distorts the financial market, rendering itsystemically vulnerable to malinvestments and risky speculations andthe financial crashes that result from these systemic distortions.
The other top agenda item for bank lobbyists is to arrange CentralState/Federal Reserve subsidies of bank profits
. These subsidies arealso known as financial repression, as the Central State/Bank rigsinterest rates and regulations to favor bank profits at the expense of both savers and borrowers.
Thanks to the Federal Reserve's Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP),savers have been robbed of hundreds of billions of dollars inincome--money that has been effectively transferred to the banks bythe State
. This is why I call our system State-Cartel capitalism, as theState and cartels rule in a mutually beneficial marriage at the expenseof the real economy, the citizenry and especially what's left of the

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