November 08, 2010

But who speaks out for the unrated small businesses and entrepreneurs?

Sir Patrick Jenkins, November 8, reports that HSBC considers “Basel III a severe threat to world trade” because the risk-weight for trade finance, increasing from 20% to 100%, would “unjustly” signify having to hold 5 times as much capital against trade finance as is currently required.

HSBC is absolutely right, any regulatory discrimination on capital requirements for banks, given that the markets already price in the risk premiums by means of higher interest rates… is arbitrary, regressive and odiously unjust. But, what about all those small businesses and entrepreneurs who have actually have had to carry a risk-weight of 100% for years now and have therefore been similarly discriminated against? Who speaks out for them? Are they going to be left out in the cold just because lending to them does not belong to the typical bank operations of one of the too-big-to-fail bank mammoths?