December 09, 2015

When final history on the bank crisis is written, it is going to be about stupid regulations, and the silencing of it

Sir, I refer to Patrick Jenkins’s and Martin Arnold’s “BEYOND BANKING: Tempestuous times” November 11 and December 9.

Therein Philipp Hildebrand, former head of the Swiss National Bank is quoted with: “The banking model is in many ways getting more like we’re turning the clock back to the early 1990s…When the history books are written, the aberration will not be the past crisis but the 15 years running up to 2007.”

Indeed, when history is written it is going to be about the regulatory aberration of allowing banks to hold so little of that capital that is to be there for unexpected losses, because the expected credit risks seemed low.

Indeed, when history is written it is going to be about how bank regulators never understood that, by allowing different capital requirement for different assets based on perceived credit risks, something which allowed different leverages of bank equity and of the support given to banks by the society, they completely distorted the allocation of bank credit to the real economy.

Indeed, when history is written it is going to be about that regulatory aberration of setting a zero risk for sovereigns, while assigning a 100 percent risk weight to the private sector.

But when final history is written, it is also going to be about how expert papers like the Financial Times turned a blind eye to all of the above. And this even when someone like me sent it thousands of letters explaining the problems, and this even though they knew that in previous letters they had published, I had correctly alerted on many of the risks.

@PerKurowski ©