March 14, 2017
Sir, Patrick Jenkins writes: “No sector, though, can compete with banking for the scale, depth, longevity or variety of lying that has infected a whole way of doing business.” “Bank bosses have to ensure that honesty is the best policy” March 14.
Perhaps but if so that lying is shared with its regulators.
Not a week goes by without at least one major financial media referring to Basel ratios that indicate banks are well capitalized. A responsible regulator should be out there answering such affirmations by reminding everyone that these ratios are; first not at all comparable with historic capital ratios based on non-weighted assets; and that they mean nothing if the risk weights are wrong. But the regulators don’t! They just play along.
And to state that those rated AAA, those who regulators assign a risk weight of 20%, are more dangerous to the bank system than those rated below BB-, those who regulators assigns a 150% risk weight to, is a mindboggling blatant lie, or a stupidity out of this world… have a pick!
Jenkins concludes among other with “More important still is that bank bosses themselves prioritise long-termist decency over short-termist profit-chasing”
Few things are more short-termist, or less long termist, than allowing banks to leverage more their equity, which means earning higher risk adjusted returns, with what is “safe”, usually the past and present, than with what is “risky”, usually the future.
Just think of it, a 35% risk weight on residential mortgages, and one of 100% for SMEs. That would seem to doom our young to have to live without jobs, forever in their parents’ basements… or, if there is a reverse mortgage on it, until the house is repossessed by the bank.
And Sir, if not directly lying, is not keeping mum on it at least sort of withholding the truth?