December 04, 2012

Banks earning higher risk-adjusted returns on equity lending to “The Infallible” than lending to “The Risky” is plain crazy.

Sir, William H. Saito, in “Embrace failure to nurture entrepreneurs”, in your “Japan Technology & Innovation Special Report” December 4, writes “The opposite of success isn’t failure, it’s not doing anything. Fear of failure is stifling entrepreneurship”.

This is precisely what I have been arguing with you in relation to current bank regulation, but that you in FT seem incapable to comprehend. The opposite of safe banking is not taking risks with “The Risky”, but lending only to “The Infallible”. In trying to make the banks avoid lending to “The Risky” allowing them in that case lower capital requirements, bank regulators doom our banks and our economies to suffocate because of lack of the oxygen of risk-taking on the shores on some supposedly very safe and shallow beaches.

Just as Saito wants a Japan that needs “to embrace weakness and failure” Europe and America once again must want to embrace risk-taking, “God make us daring!”, and put an end to that utter nonsense of allowing banks to earn much higher risk-adjusted returns on equity when lending to “The Infallible” than when lending to “The Risky”