July 28, 2018

Should central bankers answer my questions, or are they better off ignoring these?

Gillian Tett writes: “A century ago…central bankers barely talked to the public. Montagu Norman, the Bank of England governor from 1920 to 1944, is thought to have said: “Never explain. Never excuse.” That was partly because bank chiefs did not expect ordinary mortals to understand finance. But they also believed aloof detachment increased their authority.” “Should central bankers engage with the public?” July 28.

Sir, consider that I have with all means, even begging journalists to ask the questions, not been able to get an answer on something that should be very much within the general area of interest and responsibilities of a central banker, namely bank regulations.

My questions are simple and straightforward.

Why do you think that the regulators think that what is perceived as risky is more dangerous to our bank systems than what is perceived as safe? Could it be because regulators look at the risk of the assets of a bank, like bankers do, and do not look at the risk those assets could pose to the bank system, as regulators should do?

Why do you think that allowing banks to leverage differently their capital (equity) with assets based on different capital requirements, could not very dangerously distort the allocation of bank credit to the economy?

When are those European central bankers/regulators who assigned a 0% risk weight to Greece, going to be named and shamed, for dooming that nation to the so tragic consequences of excessive public debt?

Sir, “If Montagu Norman saw [my questions] what would he make of it all?”

Perhaps: “Never explain. Never excuse”, most especially when you have no explanation and you have no excuse?