Thursday, August 19, 2010

We’re in big trouble with these financial regulators!

I have just read the “Interim Report: Assessing the macroeconomic impact of the transition to stronger capital and liquidity requirements” produced by the Macroeconomic Assessment Group established by the Financial Stability Board and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.” August 2010.

By far the most prominent feature of the current bank regulations is that it discriminates the capital requirements for the banks based on the perceived risk of default, and therefore for instance allows a bank to leverage up their capital 62.5 times to 1 when lending or investing to triple-A rated clients while only permitting them to leverage up 12.5 to 1 when lending to unrated small businesses and entrepreneurs.

If a triple A rated client presented the banks with a margin of .5 percent then had it been regulated like when the bank lent to the small business, it would have produced the bank a return of 6.25 percent, decent but nothing to write home about. Instead because of the regulators’ inexplicable largess it could obtain a return of 31.25 percent a year. No wonder our banks disappeared in the AAA swamps and our small businesses and entrepreneurs, whom we depend so much for our next generation of decent jobs are ignored.

Since the existence of the discrimination which obviously must have macroeconomic impact, is not even mentioned as a problem, much less studied, I assume the document to be basically worthless, as it clearly reflects that those who wrote it know little about banking and care even less about its purpose.

Basically it is the same authors, or type of authors who, in “An Explanatory Note on the Basel II IRB Risk Weight Functions” of July 2005, produced a prime candidate for the mother of all bullshit papers ever, where they assured us that “The confidence level is fixed at 99.9%, i.e. an institution is expected to suffer losses that exceed its level of tier 1 and tier 2 capital on average once in a thousand years.”

Indeed, we’re in big trouble with these financial regulators!