December 30, 2014

Regulators are telling banks to behave​ ​meaner​ ​than Scrooge, and the Eurozone, and FT, seemingly don’t care.

Sir, John Plender writes that “The spirit of Scrooge hangs over the Eurozone” “Forgive the debt or earn the wrath of its victims” December 30. Forget it! It is much worse than that! Regulators are making Scrooge even meaner.

Can’t you hear how your bank regulators are telling your current Scrooge, in this case your banks: “No, no, no, do not lend to the risky small businesses and entrepreneurs, if you do we will smack you with higher capital requirements, so that you make lower returns on equity. But, if you to as we say, and stay away from what’s risky, and lend to infallible sovereigns, to the AAAristocracy and to the housing sector, then we will reward you with lower capital requirements, so that you can earn much better risk-adjusted returns on equity... and this way, we will all live for ever happy, with stable banks… until… après nous le deluge”.

I can bet Scrooge never discriminated against his borrowers that way. He lent to who pay him the highest risk-adjusted return per quid… not per risk-weighted quid.