November 02, 2016

FT whoever replaces Mark Carney at BoE, pray he knows more about life on Main Street… and is a bit wiser.

Sir, you write: “Central bankers should not be above criticism. But the idea that a central bank governor should be vilified for warning about disruption that he then helped to prevent is absurd”, “Carney asserts his authority at the BoE” November 2.

Indeed, but when a central banker is also part of the regulatory technocracy, as Carney being the current chair of the Financial Stability Board is, then anyone should have the right to criticize him if it is clear he does not know what he’s up to.

I have denounced what I believe to be many serious mistakes/confusions with the current risk weighted capital requirements. Let me here just reference one.

Basel II set a capital requirement for banks of 12% when lending to anything below BB- rated, but only one of 1.6% for anything rated AAA to AA. That mean regulators allowed banks to only leverage about 8 times to 1 their equity when lending to the below BB- rated but 62 times to 1 with AAA to AA rated assets.

Sir, if you think that reflects the real risks of bank crises to occur, then I must hold that you have never walked on Main Street.

Also, there are so many, even in the Financial Times, who argue that governments should take advantage of the very low interests on public debt in order to finance for instance big investments in infrastructure. Sir, those low “real” rates might be the highest real rates ever. Basel regulations subsidizes infallible 0% risk weighted sovereigns, at the dangerously high cost of causing banks to finance less the riskier 100% risk weighted SMEs and entrepreneurs, those who could provide us with our future incomes, and governments with its future tax revenues.

Sir, pray you get central bankers that are not solely desk- or knowledge bound, but that have some Main-Street experience and some wisdom too.

PS. Of course the same applies to other too. Like Mario Draghi and Stefan Ingves.