September 03, 2016

For sturdy returns on equity, banks must abandon their dangerous road of maximizing returns by minimizing equity.

Harriet Agnew and Patrick Jenkins write: “This manner of doing business in which a handful of influential individuals could orchestrate the markets [1986]… In today’s terms would be completely illegal” “Big Bang II What’s next for the city?

What? A handful of individuals orchestrated the markets more than ever when, for instance with Basel I in 1988, for the purpose of setting the capital requirements for banks, they decreed the risk weights of the Sovereign to be 0% and that of 100% We the People 100%.

And the authors quote Pierre-Henri Flamand with: “Brexit may mean a reverse Big Bang for the UK’s relationship with Europe… But it could mean Big Bang II for its relationship with the rest of the world. Brexit could improve the City’s prospects of doing business in parts of the world such as Asia and Africa where the growth is”

And on that I agree, but only if the banks go back to being banks making returns on equity by means of reasonably audacious banking, abandoning that dead-end road of maximizing returns by minimizing equity.

If they don’t then I guess we will have to endure other types of Big Bangs, like the on I was referring to when in 1999 I wrote: “The possible Big Bang that scares me the most is the one that could happen the day those genius bank regulators in Basel, playing Gods, manage to introduce a systemic error in the financial system, which will cause the death of the last financial dinosaur that survives at that moment.”

Since they introduced that systemic risk, risk weighted capital requirements for banks, and even after the 2007-08 crisis insist on keeping it, I still fear that a truly Bad Big Bang is closer than any Big Bang II.

In short, if the City wants to maintain or even gained competitiveness, then it must recreate itself in a non-distorted way. Escaping the the influence of the Basel Committee is much more important for Britain and its banks (and for all other nations) than any Brexit or no Brexit.

@PerKurowski ©