June 04, 2014

Again besserwisser Martin Wolf ignores the regulatory discrimination against “the risky” when accessing bank credit

Sir, I refer to Martin Wolf’s “Legitimate business unlocks growth” June 4.

In it he writes that answering the question “What lies behind the falling productivity and rising share in total employment of small businesses [in Mexico]?” McKinsey advances, as one of three hypotheses, that: “small businesses lack access to credit. 33 percent of GDP, outstanding loans are extraordinarily small. They are also expensive”… “The unmet capital needs of firms with 10 to 250 employees represent 75 percent of what we estimate to be a $60bn credit gap in Mexico”.

But Wolf steadfastly ignores my arguments that I have expressed to him and FT in hundreds of letters… his besserwisser ego does not allow him to do otherwise, and so he does not get it.

Mexico has been on the forefront of applying Basel Committee Basel II bank regulations… and the capital requirements for banks of these instruct banks not to lend to “risky” small businesses because, if they do, they must hold much more capital than when lending to, for instance, the “infallible sovereign” of Mexico.

PS. Sir, again, just to let you know, I am not copying Martin Wolf with this, as he has asked me not to send him any more comments related to the capital requirements for banks, as he understands it all… at least so he thinks. His problem is that, in this case, he has encountered a more correct and perhaps an even more besserwisser than he is :-)