November 12, 2011

FT, I dare you!

FT, I dare you, following your motto “without fear and without favour”, to mark to market the bank regulators, like you so valiantly do with fallen Berlusconi in “Public Liability”, November 12. 

For instance, how many billions in lower interest did the regulators subsidize governments with, by allowing banks to hold zero or minimal capital against loans to their solid sovereigns? How much of the excessive sovereign debt is the direct result of such regulatory bias? How much bank lending to “risky” small businesses and entrepreneurs did not happen because these had to pay higher rates to make up for not being treated equally favorable?

In November 1998 in an Op-Ed titled “Burning the bridges in Europe” and that had to do with the fact there was no route out of the euro I wrote “That the European countries will subordinate their political desires to the whims of a common Central Bank that may be theirs but really isn’t, is not a certainty. Exchange rates, while not perfect, are escape valves. By eliminating this valve, European countries must make their economic adjustments in real terms. This makes these adjustments much more explosive.” 

That Op-Ed clearly shows that I predicted what is now happening, but, what I was not aware of at that time, because I am neither a banker nor a regulator, was that the bank regulators were going to impose such a sick and really communistic capital controls in favor of their governments. Shame on them!