June 28, 2014

Why does John Authers keep mum on how low capital requirements for banks on house financing helps to inflate the bubble?

Sir last Thursday was the 10th anniversary of the G10 approving the absolutely senseless Basel II bank regulations. And here we are and still one of your star columnists, John Authers writes about the need to prevent bubbles, in this case a bubble in the value of UK housing sector… and does not even mention the role that preferential bank capital requirements can have in inflating a bubble, “Rate rises pose biggest test for BoE bubble theory” June 28.

The risk-weight on a residential mortgage is 35%, while the risk weight for a loan to an SME or an entrepreneur is 100%. And so a bank can leverage its capital about 20 times more when financing the purchase of a house, than when giving business those loans that could create the jobs that could help home buyers to pay their mortgage and their utilities.

And I am sure John Authers must understand that this helps to inflate the house bubble, and so that we could at least expect that if BoE perceived the risk of a bubble, it would increase the risk-weight for new mortgages, before toying around with other tools… but yet Authers chooses to keep mum about all that … why?