October 25, 2011

We do not need bold stability, we need bold risk-taking!

Sir, Barry Eichengreen and Raghuram Rajan in “Central banks need a bigger and bolder new mandate” October 25, write “Financial stability must become an explicit objective of central banks, along with price stability” and I just must ask… what is so bold about that? 

The authors also opine the world has been rethinking bank regulations to make economies more stable and that has clearly not been the case. Basel III like Basel II is built upon the pillar of capital requirements for banks that discriminate based on ex-ante perceived risk and it was precisely that which caused this crisis by means of giving the banks those fabulous incentives that led to the buildup of so dangerous excessive exposures to what was ex-ante perceived as not risky. 

No what we need is bold rethinking which starts by asking Central banks and bank regulators to dare to tell us what they believe the purpose of our banks is… since nowhere is that to be found. 

The Western World became what it is based a lot on the willingness of banks to take risks… and especially when the going gets to be risky as now and we need our risk-takers, like small businesses or entrepreneurs to get going, we cannot allow some nannies to turn our banks into veritable wimps in the name of some misunderstood quest for stability.