April 27, 2018

The severity of Greece’s financial crisis was caused, directly, by totally inept bank regulators

Sir, Jim Brunsden, Mehreen Khan and Kerin Hope report “Greece is approaching a momentous moment: the end of eight years of international bailouts that forced the country into unprecedented belt-tightening in exchange for a cash lifeline from eurozone governments and the IMF” “Eurozone and IMF are still to agree a package as deadline approaches” April 27.

What I find impossible to understand is how European bank regulators, and European central bankers, have been able to hide from the Greeks the fact that they directly caused that crisis to be so much worse than it would have been, had they not meddled.

For the purpose of the capital requirements for banks, they assigned Greece’s public debt a 0% risk weight, and this as if Basel II’s credit rating dependent minuscule risk weight of 20% was not bad enough.

Would Greece have found itself in such troubles had banks needed to hold the same capital when lending to the Greek government than when lending to Greek citizens? Absolutely not!

Those retirees protesting against pension reforms, and all those young Greeks who have had to left their country in order to stand a better chance in life, should now all jointly be protesting in Basel against the Basel Committee of Banking Supervision, the Financial Stability Board and all bank regulators.