Dividends and the ZIRP

The market cheered the dividend story from the banks on Friday. As the TBTF cabal moves farther from direct government life support, the ZIRP policy should also be on the table. By definition, if the banks can raise payments to shareholders and the government is out of the shares, then the ZIRP is no longer necessary. If QE is the process by which the Fed is easing at the zero bound (stated but not believed), then it too should end.

Amazingly, in the 3rd year of "emergency" rate structures, no connection between policy and the banks' moves was made. Since the Fed had to rubber stamp the raises, a cynic might wonder about a "quid pro quo" on "extended period." Rates need to go up some here, that they are not should be viewed negatively.

Finally, the glacial movement of the gigantic swaps market into clearing houses is occurring. Tricky collateral issues are being dealt with. Soon, Sec. Geithner will have to rule on FX Swaps, too. The growth in FX trading (and swaps) since the crisis has been impressive. Global policies aimed at "stability" have coincided with massive currency volatility. Keep an ear out for the ruling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *