April 11, 2014

Are car loans with adequate risk premiums to "risky" citizens really riskier than loans to “infallible” sovereigns?

Sir Gillian Tett, jogging our memory with the problems of mortgages linked to subprime borrowers, expresses concern for that subprime, even so called “deep subprime” car loans have been growing too much lately, “American subprime lending is back on the road” April 11. Poor her, she need not to worry, these loans are completely different from those loans that were so badly awarded because they could be dressed up in AAA clothing.

But she is indeed right when stating that “cheap money has a nasty habit of creating distortions in unexpected places”. Just look at all those of her colleagues who now suggest government should take advantage of extraordinarily low costs of finance in order to do so much more. That ignores that the cost of those currently so low interest rates, in much a direct result of the fact that banks do not need to hold much capital against loans to the “infallible” sovereigns, will most likely be paid by the lenders in the future, by one or another sort of financial repression.