September 21, 2010

Don’t forget the non-AAAs

Sir Peter Spiegel, David Oakley and Ralph Atkins report that “EU rescue fund rated triple A” September 21. Do they really know what that means?

It means that the banks when at some point in the future they are asked to acquire bonds or otherwise lend to European Financial Stability Facility they be able to do so without the need of capital. It will mean that it will be cheaper to fill the hole of the past than to build the mountain of the future. Good or bad? If I owned Greek bonds and wanted to get bailed out I would find that great but, if what I wanted was a bank loan to set up a new venture it would surely be bad, because I would have to pay for the cost of the discrimination in favor of the EU.

Since Basel III kept intact all the risk-weight discriminations in favor of the AAAs and the Jean-Claude Trichet bureaucrats of this world, we should never forget the non-AAAs and private borrowers who are and will have to pay for it all.