Misallocation of Resources

…driven by Big Government.

JP Morgan Chase & Co said Tuesday it will cut more jobs at bank branches and its mortgage unit this year than previously planned, as the largest US lender adjusts to slowing home-loan demand and customers’ growing preference to bank online.

That’s one aspect of the restructuring.  JPM says they’ll lose some 8,000 employees from its branches and its mortgage unit.  However, they’re looking to increase their “controls staff” by some 3,000.  A company’s controls staff are the folks dedicated to ensuring company compliance with government laws and regulations, as well as with its own internal rules.

Are the two related?  Not directly, although burgeoning Federal rules are hampering the housing industry and mortgage lending, generally.  Yet the fact remains,

The new figures show…a continued buildup in the bank’s staffing levels dedicated to dealing with regulators and legal issues.

An increase of 3,000 for its controls staff out of a total company employment of some 260,000 (net of those cuts) might not seem like much, but its Controls section is much smaller, and this is a significant (re)allocation of its employment emphasis.

The problem is, compliance isn’t productivity.  Compliance employees don’t increase the amount of product—or improve competition for product sales—in an economy.  All they can do is cost money to appease government.

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