March 02, 2016

If Trump wins that could be because some journalists, like Martin Wolf, withheld the truth of what has happened

Sir, Martin Wolf writes “The US is the greatest republic since Rome, the bastion of democracy, the guarantor of the liberal global order. It would be a global disaster if Mr Trump were to become president” “How great republics meet their end” March 2.

Absolutely, I agree 100 percent.

But, in Charles Goodhart’s “The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision: A History of the early years 1974-1997:” 2012, Cambridge Press Goodman (p.167) refers to Steven Solomon’s The Confidence Game (1995) we read:

"On September 2, 1986, the fine cutlery was laid once again at the Bank of England governor’s official residence at New Change… The occasion was an impromptu visit from Paul Volcker… When the Fed chairman sat down with Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton and three senior BoE officials, the topic he raised was bank capital…

At dinner the governor’s hopes had been modest: to find areas of sufficient convergence of goals and regulatory concepts to achive separate but parallel upgrading moves…

Yet the momentum it galvanized… produced an unanticipated breakthrough of a fully articulated, common bank capital adequacy regime for the United States and United Kingdom. This in turn catalyzed one of the 1980’s most remarkable achievements – the first worldwide protocol on the definitions, framework, and minimum standards for the capital adequacy of international active banks…

They literally wiped the blackboard clean, then explored designing a new risk-weighted capital adequacy for both countries…

It included… a five-category framework of risk-weighted assets… It required banks to hold the full capital standard against against the highest-risk loans, half the standard for the second riskiest category, a quarter for the middle category, and so on to zero capital for assets, such as government securities, without meaningful risk of credit default.”

And that started the mother of all distortions to the allocation of bank credit to the real economy, that which got us into the economic low growth mess we’re all in.

And so when Martin Wolf now, with respect to Trump, worries that “An American ‘Caesarism has now become flesh” I have to ask him: Where were you Wolf when American and British regulators believed themselves to be Caesars and acted like such?

Martin Wolf, by defending the bank regulation's Caesars, you might very well be part of the reason why Donald Thrump can now aspire to be a Caesar. Sleep on that!

@PerKurowski ©