February 05, 2013

No way Jose! Don’t come with you being a macho man now FT

Sir, in your “Slow but certain progress on banks”, February 5, you write “Being timid is riskier than being bold”. Frankly for someone who has so stubbornly refused to admit my arguments that the introduction of capital requirements for banks based on perceived risks dangerously exasperated the timidity that has always existed in banks, and taken away much of that boldness in bank lending that the real economy needs in order to thrive, you have no right trying to sell yourself now as a sort of macho man. 

Again, what good does ringfencing our banks do if you persist in applying loony regulatory policies within the rings? The whole basis of current Basel bank regulations is precisely giving the banks incentives to go excessively for what is perceived as safe and to stay away, excessively from what is perceived as risky; like paying Columbus to explore his bathtub instead of go looking for India, and as if staying in your bathtub, all the time, does not also entail serious risks. 

You write “A reset requires changes in attitude as much as rules” Absolutely! The attitude reset which is most needed is that of the regulator’s, and so that they stop favoring with their regulations “The Infallible”, those already favored by bankers and markets, and stop discriminating with their regulations against “The Risky”, those already discriminated against by bankers and markets.