July 15, 2014

Current bank regulators evidence a truly unpardonable lack of vision. Après nous, le water and jobs dry-spell.

Sir, our young do not find jobs and could easily turn into a lost generation, and we are all facing “A world without water” and all our bank regulators think of is having our banks exclusively financing what is perceived in the short term as absolutely safe. Because that is precisely the consequence of their risk weighted capital requirements for banks. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Yes, Pilita Clark in her Analysis on water of July 15, does quote a 2013 report for Moody where Andrew Metcalf states “It´s plainly true that water scarcity is finally to bite financially”, but we all know that long before that gets to be actually reflected in credit ratings, it might already be too late.

Worse yet, if credit ratings go down because of water scarcity, banks would be required to hold more capital, and therefore the cost of credit for those so affected when combating water scarcity would go up.

What is safe and stable banks worth to us if they cannot help to deliver jobs and solutions to our other urgent problems? Could banks even survive if jobs and solutions to our other urgent problems are not found?

What about capital requirements based on potential of job creating ratings, or sustainability ratings, or getting us water ratings?

How shortsighted can we allow our bank regulators to be? It is clear that for them an “après nous, le Déluge”…or in this case a severe dry-spell reigns.