December 05, 2014

FT, respectfully, in reference to bank regulations, you are better off pleading ignorance.

Sir, you refer to a bank levy that motivated banks “to slim down risky balance sheets”, as something positive, “A misguided raid on the banking sector” December 5.

But what slimming down of the balance sheets do you refer to?

The shedding of the “risky assets” backed by quite reasonable bank equity, or the “absolutely safe assets” backed by little or no bank equity?

The small and well-diversified bank exposures to those perceived as “risky”, or the huge bank exposures to those perceived as “absolutely safe”?

Sir, might it be you have really no idea about what you are talking about?

As I see it, because of the distortions introduced by  their regulators, banks have been slimming down precisely what we least need them to slim down... like loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

And Sir, please do not get upset with me. If I held you knew what you were talking about, and so that you agreed with the shedding of “the risky” from the balance sheets of banks, that would be so much worse.

PS. Of course you are right about that plunking the banks on capital is sort of wrong as “The UK could do with having more capital”. You know that in many letters to you I have argued that, for instance, all fines levied on banks, should be paid in voting shares... as to ask for cash seems pure masochism.