November 20, 2014

The response to monetary stimulus must be different in totally different banking systems

Sir, we have had two complete different worlds of banking.

One when banks decided to whom they would lend to and at what interest rates and what terms, based on what they perceived the credit risks to be.

The other word, the quite recent one, is one in which regulators intrude and distort the allocation of bank credit by declaring that also the bank capital, meaning equity, banks were required to hold should also be based on perceived credit risks.

And that of course increased the risk-adjusted returns on equity for banks when lending to the “absolutely safe” making lending to the risky, like small businesses and entrepreneurs, something much less attractive.

To think that the economy would respond in the same fashion to various economic stimuli with such different bank systems is quite idiotic.

And Sir, that is why, when reading Richard Milne’s “Stockholm syndrome”, November 20, about the Swedish Riksbank’s crisis-fighting measures, and where there is even a reference to 1937, I find that discussion to be so completely out of context.

It states: “‘Sadomonetarist’ rate rises led to a toxic bout of deflation and criticism from economists.”

If anything, in that respect, what we really have is sadistic risk adverse regulations.