November 14, 2014

The bank regulatory risk weights explain much of a growing lack of productivity.

Sir, I refer to Martin Wolf’s “Hope for the best on productivity, but prepare for the worst” November 14.

Here is a list of risk weights applied by bank regulators apply, even though banks already adjust for perceived credit risk by means of interest rates, size of exposure and other contractual terms.

Infallible sovereigns: 0 percent.

Members of the AAAristocracy: 20 percent

Financing of houses: around 30 percent

Medium and small businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups: 100 percent.

Sir, do you think that risk weighting is compatible with a banking sector that can effectively help to finance increased productivity? I don’t. Martin Wolf seems to think there is no linkage.

Regulators are negating our descendants the freedom of risk taking by banks that brought us to where we all find ourselves. That is shameful... and useless. Lending to medium and small businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups have never been the direct cause of any real large bank crisis.