January 19, 2013

Do they really trust credit rating agencies less?

Sir, Claire Jones and Robin Harding quote Frederic Mishkin of the Fed saying on August 7, 2007 “The point of the subprime market is just that we now trust the credit rating agencies less,” said Frederic Mishkin. “Fed red-faced as notes reveal officials failed to grasp dangers of 2007” January 19. 

Is Mishkin really sure about that? Last time I looked the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision, on top of the capital requirements for banks based on perceived risks, and as perceived fundamentally by credit rating agencies, and which remain firmly entrenched, are now adding a layer of liquidity requirements also based on perceived risks, and also as fundamentally perceived by credit rating agencies.

When are our utterly naïve regulators going to wake up to the fact that in banking it is what is perceived as safe which can cause most risk since what is perceived as risky takes perfectly care of itself?