If a bank says it, it must be true.

Apparently the long held belief that reducing supply increases prices is wrong:

After an intensive lobbying campaign by the banks, Mary L. Schapiro, the S.E.C.’s chairwoman, approved the new copper funds last December, during her final days in office. S.E.C. officials said they believed the funds would track the price of copper, not propel it, and concurred with the firms’ contention — disputed by some economists — that reducing the amount of copper on the market would not drive up prices.

Yes, because the banks says so, it must be true, despite what economists say.

I started wondering what the S.E.C. actually does and I found this on their web site:

The mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.

The article I quoted from above explains how Goldman Sachs profits from storing and moving aluminum, without actually delivering much:

The story of how this works begins in 27 industrial warehouses in the Detroit area where a Goldman subsidiary stores customers’ aluminum. Each day, a fleet of trucks shuffles 1,500-pound bars of the metal among the warehouses. Two or three times a day, sometimes more, the drivers make the same circuits. They load in one warehouse. They unload in another. And then they do it again.

This industrial dance has been choreographed by Goldman to exploit pricing regulations set up by an overseas commodities exchange, an investigation by The New York Times has found. The back-and-forth lengthens the storage time. And that adds many millions a year to the coffers of Goldman, which owns the warehouses and charges rent to store the metal. It also increases prices paid by manufacturers and consumers across the country.

And the S.E.C. has just agreed to let them do that with copper too. Maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets? For the banks sure. Just not for anyone else. Everyone else just pays more.

Leave a Reply