January 23, 2016

Europe’ banks are in hand of regulators and central bankers who prefer dreaming about the safer past than a riskier future.

Sir Mark Mazower writes: “I was going to write — “critics and supporters of the European dream”. But there is no dream any longer and that is in some ways the biggest problem of all.” “Fresh ideas and lessons from the past are key to Europe’s survival” January 22.

A dream could be about a better future or about conserving a better past. Europe’s bank regulators, with their credit risk weighted capital requirements, which allow banks to earn much higher risk adjusted returns on equity when refinancing the safer past, than when financing the riskier future, clearly evidence what they dream about… poor Europe’s youth.

Let me refer to four extremely important European central bankers: ECB’s Mario Draghi and BoE’s Mark Carney, former and current chairs of the Financial Stability Board; BIS’ Jaime Caruana and Sveriges Riksbank Stefan Ingves, former and current chairs of the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision

All these gentlemen fully support credit risk weighted capital requirements for banks, which de facto means they believe that ex ante perceived ‘highly speculative’ below BB- rated assets, are far more dangerous to the bank system than ‘prime’ AAA rated assets. Europe, if that’s not scary, what is?

@PerKurowski ©