May 23, 2013

Get over it. Set a high credible capital requirement for banks and ask for it to be met within a very short time.

Sir, you finish your “Noise and truths in the IMF’s verdict” May 23 writing: “Inadequately capitalised lenders will continue limit lending. This in turn, will hamper growth. For all the brouhaha about changing tack on fiscal policy, Britain’s priority should be to fix its banks”.

Absolutely right… and we all have known that for many years…right?

To fix the banks you need to set a high but achievable goal, let us say 8 to 10 percent of capital for all bank assets, and ask for it to be complied with in a very short time. It would also be recommendable to help out in the process of raising all that bank capital, by for instance offering some special tax incentives.

What you cannot do is to meekly be tip-toeing around the issue, because before bank investors are absolutely sure that the capital raised will be the capital needed, and that it will dramatically reduce the risk-profile of banking, they will not volunteer to try it out.