May 10, 2013

Was the Basel Committee, and the Financial Stability Board, created in order to bypass democracies?

Sir, what would be the possibilities of passing a law, in any European parliament, which would dramatically increase banks expected risk-adjusted returns on equity when lending to a sovereign or triple-A rated borrowers, and thereby stop banks from lending to those perceived as more risky, like small and medium businesses and entrepreneurs, or having these pay higher interest rates to make up for a regulatory competitive disadvantage; and all justified with the argument of making banks safer? None I would say… especially if a parliamentarian reminded law makers of the fact that no bank crisis ever has resulted from excessive lending to those perceived as risky, they have all resulted from excessive lending to what was wrongly perceived as absolutely safe.

But that is exactly what the Basel Committee has achieved by imposing their capital requirements for banks based on perceived risk. And this is why I do not agree much with Philip Stephens’ “Do not blame democracy for the rise of the populists” May 10, since democracies should never have allowed their power to be diffused in such a way. Governments and democracies are now in many ways kept hostages by their own creations... and suffering their own Stockholm-syndrome 

Was the Basel Committee and the  created on purpose in order to bypass democracies? I have no answer to that question… sometimes shit just happens. But, who have benefitted from it? Not “the risky”, that’s one thing for sure.