June 28, 2014

Becoming coward marks the beginning of the end of any civilization, and the Western World ignores what Basel II does

Sir Peter Aspden quotes Emir Kusturica with: “I am a man with a lot of passion. I will always fight for peace. But, unfortunately, it is war that drives us forward. It is war that makes the major turns. It makes Wall Street function…”, “Wars and peace” June 28.

I certainly do not agree, what moves us forward, what stops our civilization from stalling and falling, is the willingness to take risks. It is when a civilization stops taking those risks which has helped it climb up the mountain that it will immediately start rolling down to its death.

And ordering our banks to stop taking risks, without arranging for anyone or anything else to assume this responsibility, is precisely what those senseless bank regulators did when they concocted their dangerous brew of risk-weighted capital requirements for banks.

And the Western World even ignored this week the 10th anniversary of that Basel II decree, even after a first crisis had already been caused. 

If we remain on the path of having our banks concentrating their assets more and more in what is ex ante perceived as absolutely safe, we will only have to face worse and worse crises in the near future.