April 08, 2013

FT, what Europe needs is to stop regulators discriminating against the backbone of its economy

Sir, much of the difficulties for “small and medium enterprises which form the backbone of the eurozone economy” to access bank credit in reasonable terms, has to do with the fact that bank regulators, like Mario Draghi was, foolishly believe they can make the banks safer by requiring these to have much more capital when lending to this risky backbone than when lending to “The Infallible”.

For instance, according to Basel II, if a Spanish bank lends to an AAA to AA rated German company it needs to hold 1.6 percent in capital, but if it lends to an unrated Spanish business then it needs to hold 8 percent. If you believe that this, especially in times of bank capital scarcity, does not affect banks lending decisions, perhaps you should go back to school for a refresher. 

About this regulatory discrimination I have written you hundreds of letters over many years but which for reasons of your own,perhaps quite petty ones, you decided to ignore. Indeed, “Europe needs more creative thinking” April 8, but FT needs also to report opinions in a less discriminatory way.

I assure you Sir that when the story of my travails in convincing FT about what was going on is written, some of you will have egg on your face.