March 08, 2016

If regulators insist on that any information gathered by banks must be doubly considered, that would be real dangerous.

Sir, Martin Wolf writes: “Finance is an information business. Indeed it already spends a higher share of its revenues on information technology than any other. It seems ripe for disruption by information technologies. Consider its three essential functions: payment; intermediation between savings and investment; and insurance. All these activities are information-intensive.” “Good news — fintech could disrupt finance” March 9.

Banks already perceived information about credit risks, and cleared for it with interest rates and the amounts of their exposures... and they were not doing that bad when it came to identify “the risky”, where they sometimes really failed, badly, was when they identified some as very safe.

But then came the regulators and told the banks they also had to consider the same perceived risks in the capital. And so banks did doubly stay away from the risky, and doubly fall into the traps tended by the false safes.

And so if all that information is going to be of value for the banks and for us, be sure to keep the regulators away from it.

Martin Wolf also quotes John Kay on that “parts of the financial sector today . . . demonstrate the lowest ethical standards of any legal industry”.

Not so. Compared to the ethical standards of regulators who abusing their powers distort the allocation of bank credit to the real economy; and by discriminating against the opportunities for fair access to bank credit of “The Risky” increase inequalities, one could argue that bankers are saints.

@PerKurowski ©