June 09, 2012

Europe! Stop your regulators from playing risk managers… that is too risky

Sir, Niall Ferguson and Nouriel Roubini, in “Germany is failing to learn the lessons of the 1930s…” June 9, also fail themselves when not including the necessity of dismantling bank regulations that had the regulators playing risk managers handing out discriminating risk-weights which determined the final capital requirements for banks.

Had for instance a German bank, when lending to Greece, been required to hold the same 8 percent in capital it needed when lending to a German unrated small business, instead of a paltry 1.6 percent, implying an authorized leverage of 62.5 to 1, you can be sure that Greece would never have been able to borrow as much as it did.

How sad Europe is still being analyzed by looking at the facts using the wrong hypothesis… and therefore its crisis has not yet been fully understood.