November 06, 2013

Europe, and the Western world, is spiraling down to its death, embraced by crazy "risk" adverse bank regulations.

How on earth can Europe regain internal balance with bank regulations which are based on the principle that the safer you ex ante look, like the more surpluses you have, like Germany, the less will the banks need to hold in capital lending to you, and so the more will banks expect to earn in risk-adjusted returns on equity when lending to you, and so the less will they lend to those perceived as riskier?

That is a death spiral that will make Europe and the whole Western world implode, as it only guarantees that banks will, naked with no capital, die because of lack of oxygen, in dangerously overpopulated “safe-havens” like Germany.

If you really want to have a future, then you need to give banks incentives to finance it, and not only like now, give these especial incentives to refinance the safer past.

Sir, Martin Wolf, again, in “Germany is a weight on the world” November 6, in spite of my so many letters to him on that issue, does not make a reference to this problem described above. 

Edward Dolnick, in “The Forger´s spell”, when looking to explain how those big experts that had considered some fake Vermeer paintings original, hang on to their beliefs until death, “despite incontrovertible proof to the contrary”, quotes the psychologist Leon Festinger saying: “A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point”.

I believe that applies perfectly to Martin Wolf, but, then again, it could just the same really apply more to me. What do you think?

PS. In the article Wolf writes “just as others had a right to complain about past US regulatory failures”, but it is hard to figure out what he means with that.

PS. Sir, just to let you know, I am not copying Martin Wolf with this, as he has asked me not to send him any more comments related to the capital requirements for banks, as he understands it all… at least so he thinks.