August 18, 2017

In crossroads where some cars are allowed to speed through at 62.5, and other at 12.5, which would cause the greatest accidents?

Robert A Denemark writes: “the financial system provides incentives to engage in risky behaviour that tends toward crisis… It is a good idea to avoid accidents even when there are no traffic laws, but if vehicles collide there can be no official blame. Legitimacy, the focus of the editorial, comes from the recognition of most people that the rules make sense. Do they?” “Financial system itself makes crises likely” August 18.

Do current rules make sense? Let me answer that question this way: In that crossroad where bankers take decisions about credit, regulators allowed bank equity to be leveraged much more with the net margins if these came from “safe” borrowers than when produced by “risky” ones. For instance Basel II, allowed a 62.5 times leverage for the AAA rated and only 12.5 times for SMEs.

Sir, where would you think the biggest and most dangerous crashes could occur?

The 20% risk weighted AAA rated securities, and 0% to 20% risk weighted sovereigns, like Greece, is a good hint for you to come up with the right answer.