July 10, 2013

Higher capital will soon turn into banks’ new competitive edge.

Sir I refer to Tracy Alloway’s and Patrick Jenkins’ “US banks face strict leverage proposals” July 10.

At this moment, when warning signs stating “bank creditors, caveat emptor, you won’t be bailed out like before” are being put up all over the world, starting in Cyprus, banks have to be truly insane not knowing they have to substantially raise their capital.

In this respect, though some dumb US banks are complaining that their regulators, are setting too high capital requirements for them, these might turn out to be a blessing in disguise… and perhaps soon all will understand that those even higher ratios favored by FDIC’s Martin Gruenberg and foremost Thomas Hoenig, make all sense in the world.

Just wait until the recent decision of the Basel Committee about having to publish the leverage ratio comes into effect. Then there is a lot of bank-running that is going to be happening from those banks leveraged over 30 to 1 to those banks leveraged 10 to 1, and this no matter the riskiness of the underlying assets.

Frankly, European banks should beware