January 07, 2015

We are in the midst of a slow-motion deep financial crisis that no one dares to speak of.

Sir, Martin Wolf gives a generally positive outlook for 2015 in “An economist’s advice to astrologers” January 7.

That is because he keeps on turning a blind eye to the very dangerous slow motion financial crisis that is occurring, at this very moment, but that for reasons I can’t comprehend seemingly no one dares to name.

And I refer to that primarily as a result of growing general bank capital (equity) requirements, like that derived from Basel III’s leverage ratio, those banks borrowers who because they are perceived as “risky” generate larger regulatory imposed capital requirements on the banks… are getting more and more excluded from having fair access to bank credit.

I do not know if that is going to reflect itself in 2015 but one thing is sure, all the credit negated, or offered in too expensive terms, to small businesses and entrepreneurs during 2015, is going to turn out to be extremely expensive for the economy… and for the job prospects of our youth. 

Wolf’s “chronic demand deficiency syndrome”, created mostly through the anticipation of demand financed with debt, a preempting of future demand, is going to hang over the economy, no doubt about that.

But it is silly risk aversion, expressed in allowing banks to earn higher risk adjusted returns on equity on what is perceived as “safe”, which is the major obstacle for any sturdy economic growth to reassume.