December 30, 2015

Europe’s economists and politicians fail to see the risk of economies growing with carbohydrates and without proteins

Sir, Stephanie Flanders writes “Growth is not nearly strong enough in the eurozone at the moment and it is unlikely to be a lot faster in the coming year. With consumption and consumer confidence picking up and unemployment continuing to fall, however, the recovery does now have its own momentum.” “There is no pressing economic crisis confronting the continent in 2016, thank goodness” “Risks to Europe that economists fail to see” December 30.

Not so, there is a huge crisis in the making. While the risk adverse credit risk weighted capital requirements for banks remain in force, Europe’s economy will grow obese from an excessive intake of safe carbohydrates. In order to grow muscular and sustainable it needs a lot of proteins and exercise.

Ask ECB to perform a new stress test of the banks, and this time not about what is on their balance sheets but about what should be there. I am sure ECB would find that new loans to those who on the margin provides the economy with the real strength to move forward, like SMEs and entrepreneurs, are highly insufficient. 

And those loans to "the risky" they could find, will probably have interest rates that are larger than what the transaction cost and risk premiums merit... as the risky need to compensate for the fact that banks are not allowed to leverage as much with them as what they can leverage with "the safe". 

When you finance the purchase of houses more than the creation of the jobs that will allow buyers to pay utilities and service mortgages that will not end well.

@PerKurowski ©