November 02, 2011

Risk-avoiders can huff and puff but they depend on risk-takers.

Sir, Martin Wolf’s “Creditors can huff and puff but they depend on debtors” November 2, is a great expose on the Janus-faced realities of deficits and surpluses, and also of the too-much-lending and the too much borrowings. 

I just wish Mr. Wolf, and so many with him, could get to understand that precisely the same relation exists between safety-and risk-taking. If the world does not take risks it will not be safe. On the contrary by interfering with their risk-weights based on what they perceived as not-risky they pushed the world into one of the greatest economic crisis ever. 

There is something fundamentally wrong when, for instance a UK bank, is required to have 8 percent in capital when lending to a UK small businesses or entrepreneur, but is (or at least was) allowed to have only 1.6 percent when lending to a sovereign rated like Greece was, which has absolutely nothing to do with the credit rating of Greece being correct or not. 

It really amazes me that Mr. Wolf does not see that risk-avoiders can huff and puff but they depend on risk-takers.