February 06, 2011

The regulator was the noisiest!

Sir, Justin Baer in “Noise of the financial herd will drown out risk concerns? February 5 writes that the crisis exposed flaws in the way Wall Street measures and limits risks. That might be, but let us never forget that the biggest flaws of them all were those present in the bank regulations of Basel II, which allowed banks to leverage their capital 60 times and more just because a triple-A rating was involved in the operation, like in the case of most of those collateralized debt obligations referred to in the article.

If there was a margin of 1 percent in the operation, then the returns on capital could be catapulted into over 60 percent a year. Talk about real noise!