June 16, 2014

For Europe to reduce the horrors of its house of debt, it needs to allow its risky-risk-takers to get going.

Sir, Wolfgang Münchau writes about a “balance sheet recession: the notion that indebted households and corporations do not care about cheap interest rates but just want to offload debt. When that happens monetary policy becomes ineffective” and then, salt on the wound, he quotes Moritz Kramer of Standards & Poor’s saying “The Europeans have barely begun to deleverage”, “Europe faces the horrors of its own house of debt” June 16.

Has Münchau ever heard that “when the going gets tough the tough get going”? If so I would ask him who he thinks might be the real tough in Europe. And I would advance that would be all those with a spirit of initiative who are willing to risk either their good name or whatever little capital they have, in order to take on a business venture.

And, if you agree, then reflect on that these are precisely those who are now locked out from having a fair access to bank credit by the sissy bank regulators and their risk-weighted capital requirements.

And so, if Europe is going to have a chance to reduce “the horrors of its own house of debt”, it must start by inducing banks to allow the risky-risk-takers of Europe, wherever you can find them, to get going. 

Given the real and urgent needs of Europe, the risk-weight on loans to “risky” medium and small businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups, should be lower than that of their “infallible sovereigns.”