September 12, 2012

If prudent finance requires partnerships, why then are not regulators also made liable for bank losses?

Sir, when Basel II states that banks need zero capital when lending to an infallible sovereign and 1.6 percent when lending to slightly more suspect sovereign or private AAA ratings, what does that say with respect to shareholders of the bank? The answer is that for all practical purposes the regulators feel that for that business the shareholders are not really needed. 

And that is why when I read Martin Jacomb’s “Prudent finance requires a return to partnership” December 12, my first reaction was… do we then need credit ratings for the partners?, and my second, should the not bank regulators also be partners of the banks they regulate? They assign risk-weights too, don't they? 

Frankly, before thinking about how to create partnerships able to shoulder the too big to fail, we should be thinking to make shareholders at least 8 percent important, for any type of bank business.