This question has been bothering me for a while and I did some digging and turned up nothing...

In the Netflix show Ozark, season 1 episode 1, Marty is at his bank trying to liquidate millions of dollars worth of assets so that he can move his family into the Ozarks so the cartel dudes don't come after him, and the vice president of the bank is trying to say he doesn't have the money to give to him and Marty responds:

"Unless you're the vice president of the one institution in the US that is exempt from the liquidity ratio laws that govern every other bank in America, I suggest you [call] the Federal Reserve... and you order yourself up a [lot] of cash"

Is this a real thing? Is there a US banking institution that is exempt from these laws, and if so what is it?

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  • 1
    I strongly suspect t5his is being said ironically, and there there is no such exempt institution. He is saying, in effect, "Every bank must follow liquidity rules, so you can get the cash." 2 days ago
  • That is kinda what I thought after researching and finding nothing, but the way he says it strongly implies that there is exactly one that is exempt 2 days ago
  • 2
    I haven't seen the show, but I have seen this rhetorical figure used before. Examples "Unless you are the one Catholic Church with no priest, get me the pastor!" or "Unless this is the one college with no faculty, get a professor!" 2 days ago
  • I definitely see where you're coming from. I interpreted it differently and was hoping that there was some government institution or something that didn't have to follow its own rules 2 days ago

1 Answer 1


I think that this is an awkward reference to the Treasury Department of the United States government (upon which the Fed cannot impose liquidity ratios).

By the way, this isn't really literally true.

Liquidity ratio requirements apply only to regulated financial institutions, and there are many closely held non-financial businesses that aren't primarily in the lending business, which extend credit and can as a result end up with very low liquidity ratios that can still legally lend money in the course of their business.

"Grandma's feed store", for example, could extend credit to customers far beyond what any financial institution could lend due to liquidity ratio limitations, without violating any liquidity ratio regulations, since there are no such regulations for feed stores.

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