Bank earnings as a demand leakage

All unspent income is called a ‘demand leakage’ as it means the output can’t get sold unless another agent spends more than his income. (by identity, not ‘theory’) And unsold output leads to cuts in output, cuts in employment, etc. etc. and down you go until some agent spends enough more than his income to offset the demand leakages. Invariably that agent is govt, as the automatic fiscal stabilizers increase the deficit. Of course they also work in reverse, providing an increasing headwind to the economy as it grows, via higher revenues and lower transfer payments. Like what’s happening now, which has brought the deficit down dramatically over the last few of years..

Anyway, when a bank has income and pays it out as shareholder income, that’s not a demand leakage. And if the shareholders don’t spend their income, that is a demand leakage. etc.

But if a bank earns income and doesn’t pay it out or spend it, but instead lets its equity capital increase, that is a demand leakage.

So what’s happening in general is top line growth is pretty much flat, with earnings not being spent, but instead adding to net worth and therefore the earnings are demand leakages. This includes the housing agencies/banks who are now turning over their incomes to govt.

Remember this from the Fed?

The Automatic Stabilizers: Quietly Doing their Thing

By Darrel S. Cohen and Glenn R. Follette

Abstract: This paper presents theoretical and empirical analysis of automatic fiscal stabilizers, such as the income tax and unemployment insurance benefits. Using the modern theory of consumption behavior, we identify several channels–insurance effects, wealth effects and liquidity constraints- -through which the optimal reaction of household consumption plans to aggregate income shocks is tempered by the automatic fiscal stabilizers. In addition we identify a cash flow channel for investment. The empirical importance of automatic stabilizers is addressed in several ways. We estimate elasticities of the various federal taxes with respect to their tax bases and responses of certain components of federal spending to changes in the unemployment rate. Such estimates are useful for analysts who forecast federal revenues and spending; the estimates also allow high- employment or cyclically-adjusted federal tax receipts and expenditures to be estimated. Using frequency domain techniques, we confirm that the relationships found in the time domain are strong at the business cycle frequencies. Using the FRB/US macro-econometric model of the United States economy, the automatic fiscal stabilizers are found to play a modest role at damping the short-run effect of aggregate demand shocks on real GDP, reducing the “multiplier” by about 10 percent. Very little stabilization is provided in the case of an aggregate supply shock.

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