May 23, 2014

Banks, thanks to regulators, only excavate the successes of yesterday, while not seeding those of the future

Sir, Gary Silverman writes "On one of its biggest nights of the year, the music industry could think of nothing better to do than recycle one of its dead in the form of a high-tech light show. The people who did it aren’t creators. They are excavators.", "Michael Jackson is good for bonds", May 23.

And it amazes me how a FT writer can come up with such an insightful statement looking at what is happening in the music industry, without realizing that that is precisely what has been ordered for our banks by their regulators, by means of their risk-weighted capital requirements.

So let me explain it this way. Currently banks are allowed much higher risk-adjusted returns on equity when excavating "the safe", who many were "the risky" of the past, than seeding the risky, those who could become the safe of the future. Capisce!