June 27, 2013

The worse insults need not to include foul language.

Sir, Peter Cunningham, in “A dark, cruel comedy at the expense of the Irish taxpayer”, June 27, writes “It is in September 2008 and Ireland´s hapless government, faced with an unprecedented flight of capital from the country´s banking system and acting on the facts given to it, has decided to guarantee the obligations of all banks”.

The Tier 1 Capital Ratio of Anglo Irish Bank was reported as 8.3% in 2007 and 8.4% in 2008, and its Total Capital ratio, for the same years, 11.6% and 12% respectively, and they all seem healthy. But that of course is based on risk-weighted assets, and so, if the weights are wrong, these figures don´t say much. Sir, I wonder if the Irish authorities would have acted differently had they known, what used to be known, namely the un-weighted total assets to equity.

But Cunningham also writes “The almost total absence of effective banking regulation would be laughable had it not been so serious” and he´s wrong, because with a total absence of banking regulations, another type of crisis might have happened, but none as big and as systemic as the current.

And now the Basel Committee has decided that a small but not risk weighted leverage ratio shall also be imposed on the banks, but, read this! “Implementation of the leverage ratio requirement has begun with bank-level reporting to supervisors of the leverage ratio and its components from 1 January 2013, and will proceed with public disclosure starting 1 January 2015.”

“with public disclosure starting 1 January 2015.” You see big insults do not necessarily need to be expressed with vulgarities or foul language, they can also come dressed up in very elegant word and formulas.

And talking about cruel insults,  now they announce that “Rules to force losses on creditors in failed banks were agreed by EU finance ministers” Anyone knows of any rules that prevented creditors from suffering losses in failed banks?