September 23, 2013

If banks and QE finance sovereigns, housing and AAAristocracy, who is to finance “the risky”? You and me? Widows and orphans?

Sir, I refer to John Authers’ “Side-effects that should call time on the QE medicine” September 23.

The market, as the compass that directs the allocation of financial resources, has been rendered useless by the introduction in its center of two big chunks of iron. The first is capital requirements based on ex ante perceived risk, the other is QE. If these sources of magnetic distortion somehow neutralized each other, for instance QE mirrored the deleveraging of the banks the economy might not head too much out of course. But, unfortunately, they just reinforce each other.

The capital requirements push banks to lend to sovereigns, housing and the AAAristocracy, and QE, buying sovereigns to ease the borrowing rates of government, and help housing, push in the same direction. The question which remains is then who is going to take care of financing the risky. Truth is that if we get out of this storm alive and are able to find safe harbor, we can count ourselves extremely lucky indeed. As is what is most probable is that we end up sitting in million dollar houses, without a job, to help us pay the utility bills.