March 28, 2017

When “Eurozone sovereigns rush to lock in rates”… whom are they locking out?

Sir, I refer to Thomas Hale’s “Eurozone sovereigns rush to lock in rates” March 20.

It reads like the sovereigns were totally disconnected from their subjects. Like if they are able to lock in low rates, this would not be paid by, for instance, those pension funds that will earn less?

And if sovereigns have some inside information that rates will shoot up, and still sells a long-term bond to a citizen (a bank or an insurance company) is that not stealing? Would a citizen not be fined and sent to jail if he did something like that?

Bank regulators decided for instance that banks and insurance companies need to hold less capital when lending to sovereigns than when lending to citizens. That of course leads to sovereigns being able to borrow at lower rates than what would have been the case in the absence of such regulatory favor. And who pays for that regulatory subsidy? The “risky” SMEs and entrepreneurs pay for it; by means of less and more expensive access to bank credit. 

Sir there is such an amazing disconnect between the sovereigns and its subjects. It is as if the sovereigns have totally forgotten that their future is absolutely dependent on the future of its subjects. Or is it that current technocrats are just too statists or too dumb to understand what they are doing.

It does not help of course when influential papers like the Financial Times refuses to ask the questions that should be asked… like these: