March 11, 2016

Three questions that could help determine whether ECB’s Mario Draghi is for real, or just another Chauncey Gardiner.

Sir, Katie Martin, in Short View March 11 writes: Mario Draghi says that he still has ammunition left in his battle against deflation. But the question is whether he’s using it to shoot himself in the foot”.

Perhaps we should clarify that it is not really his ammo, and that the foot Draghi shoots, is our real economy.

And so now Draghi wants to “dose of cheap-as-chips cash for banks to lend to the real economy… “and even rewards banks for lending to the real world”

Why are the banks not doing that already? The simple answer is because of the restrictions that, in a severely bank capital constrained world, regulators, like Mario Draghi, have imposed with the risk weighted capital requirements for banks.

And so now Draghi wants to counter-distort one of his own distortions?

No, if Mario Draghi was working for me, he would be long gone, because he I believe he is inept and he has clearly failed.

John Kenneth Galbraith in “Money: Whence it came, where it went” wrote: “If one is pretending to knowledge one does not have, one cannot ask for explanations to support possible objections”. Well I am not pretending any knowledge, and I have sure asked for many explanations.

Again, why do we not ask Mario Draghi some easy questions? If he cannot give us answers we understand, then I hold he is, in the best of cases, just another misplaced figure like Chauncey Gardiner in Jerzy Kosinski’s “Being there”.

And that would make of most of you out there, sad characters that herald Draghi as visionary and quote him, without the faintest idea about what he's really saying.

Question 1. Mr. Draghi why do you believe the capital banks should be required to hold, against unexpected losses, should be based on the perceptions of expected credit losses that banks already clear for with the interest rates (risk-premiums) and the size of the exposure?

Question 2. Why do you think that allowing banks to leverage differently different assets, which clearly affects the risk-adjusted returns on equity each asset group provides, does not distort the allocation of bank credit to the real economy?

Question 3. What is the purpose of banks? I mean when stress-testing banks, why are you only interested in what’s on their balance sheets, and not in what might be lacking, like loans to “risky” SMEs and entreprenuers?

Mr Draghi, we are all ears!

@PerKurowski ©