August 16, 2012

Bank regulators, allow America to be the Home of the Brave

Sir, Jeffrey Sachs in “The US has already lost the battle over government” August 16, writes “ Mr. Ryan’s budget is nothing short of heartless in the face of the dire crisis facing America’s poor”. 

Hold it there Professor Sachs! I get too nervous about the poor, when someone recurs to arguing considerations based on the heart in order to service their needs. What was much worse for them than any heartlessness was the senselessness of bank regulators, that which caused the current crisis. 

By allowing banks to hold minimal capital when lending or investing in what was officially perceived as not-risky, regulators effectively discriminated against those perceived as “risky”, like small businesses and entrepreneurs, and doomed the banks to useless and obese exposures to what was or is still officially perceived as not risky. 

If there is anything that Republicans and Democrats should offer, as Americans, that is to wipe away the regulatory discrimination against what is perceived as risky and allow the US to fully be “the Home of the Brave” again… and that by the way would also do Europe a lot of good. 

And, if your bank regulator absolutely must mess around with market signals, so that they feel they have earned their salary, then why do you not ask them to base their capital requirements for banks on job creation and environmental sustainability ratings instead? That way they would at least serve a purpose.