April 10, 2013

Margaret Thatcher, if explained the capital requirements for banks based on perceived risk would ask “Are you nuts? Accept defeat?

Sir, I have read many obituaries of Margaret Thatcher that attributes to her much of the bank de-regulations they blame for the current crisis.

I do not hold to know the whole story but, let me assure you that if someone would have asked her about the possibility of, by means of bank regulations, allowing the banks to earn immensely higher risk-adjusted returns on their equity, by sticking to financing solely “The Infallible” and keeping away from “The Risky”, the Iron Lady would most certainly have asked “Are you nuts? That sounds like a defeat and I do not recognize the meaning of that word" 

And if also told that the most infallible of “The Infallible” was to be the government, and that therefore banks could lend to it without any capital at all, leveraging without limits, she would also most certainly have asked “Are you a communist?