December 29, 2011

Has FT just turned into an Occupy Wall-Street extremist?

Or are you just expressing pent-up jealousy about banker’s bonuses? 

In “Restoring faith in the banking system” December 29 you write “Prior to the crisis, bankers garnered great fortunes by loading individuals and companies with excessive and unnecessary debt, or by churning investment portfolios to extract transaction fees.” Frankly, what on earth does that have to do with causing the current crisis? 

We are not in a mess because of the banker having made to much money on that! We are in a mess exclusively because the bankers built up excessive exposures to what was ex-ante officially perceived as not risky, like triple-A rated securities and “infallible” sovereigns; and that happened exclusively because silly regulators allowed the banks to do so against very little or no bank capital at all. If you want to search for the source of income which originated immense bankers’ bonuses, then look no further than to the outrageous leverages allowed for some assets. 

How on earth will the Western World be able to restore its faith in the banking system with editorials like this which seem to indicate that our only possibility is to sit down and wait for the new good bankers?… like waiting for a New Soviet Man. 

Want to restore faith in the banking system? Throw out those who produced Basel I and II, instead of allowing them to concoct an even more dangerous Basel III. 

PS. You write “The asymmetry of risk and rewards in banks has led to poor outcomes for society” and I must ask, what about the information asymmetry powers you exercise in favor of the opinions of those you want to favor? Do we have to occupy FT too?