December 01, 2016

Using Basel Committee’s standardized risk weights could also be worse than using banks' internal risk models.

Sir I refer to Caroline Binham’s, Laura Noonan’s and Jim Brunsden’s “Basel fails to agree key risk measures” December 1.

Currently: The lower the risk - the lower the capital requirement - the higher the leverage - and so the higher the risk adjusted return on equity. Therefore it is clear that, as long as bank shareholders and bank creditors do not own 100% of the skin in the game, you cannot leave it in the hands of banks to use their own internal risk models. The conflict of interest with these is too much to handle for even the most disciplined banker. You would not like your kids to decide the nutritional values of their diets…would you?

But Sir, Basel II’s standardized risk weights makes it clear you can much less place the responsibility in hands of regulators who have no idea about what they are doing. Just an example: for an asset rated AAA to AA they assigned a 20% risk weight, while for what’s rated below BB-, something which would therefore never constitute a major danger for banks, that received a 150% risk weight.

And regulators assigning 0% risk weight to sovereigns, and 100% to We the People, more than regulators, seem to be simple statism activists.