March 28, 2015

Dark forces keep Europe from correcting what is immoral and dumb, and which hurts its economies.

Sir, I refer to Nikolaus Blome’s “The quest for common ground between Greek morals and German maths” March 28.

Suppose only Greece had regulations that included the current credit risk-weighted equity requirements for banks; those which distort the allocation of credit by allowing banks to leverage their equity, and the support they receive from taxpayers, much more for exposures to something perceived as safe, than on exposures to “the risky”, like to SMEs and entrepreneurs.

In that case you can bet that the structural reforms Germany and Europe would request from Greece, would have included getting rid of such nonsense; on moral and on math grounds.

On moral, because it is immoral to discriminate against the fair access to bank credit of those who already, by being perceived as risky, have less access to it.

On math, because there is nothing that guarantees that those perceived as safe will in fact be safer for banks, quite the opposite; and there is absolutely nothing that states that “the safer” will allocate resources more efficiently to create supply demand and jobs in the real economy.

But that structural reform, of something that affects all in Europe (and many more countries), is not even on the table… and one really has to wonder what dark forces could be in play.