Friday, September 24, 2010

My letter to the Independent Commission on Banking in UK

You’ve all been “Razzle Dazzle 'em, Razzle Bazzle 'em”… Get out of that trance!


The regulatory paradigm on which the Basel Committee stands will quite soon be discovered as one of the biggest regulatory failures ever, and all the experts will be looking for ways how to disassociate from them.

This is so because those regulations are primarily based on requiring the banks to have more capital when risk are perceived as high while allowing for much lower capital when risks are perceived as low, even though all financial and bank crisis in history have occurred from excessive investments in what is perceived as having low risk.

Only what is perceived as having a low risk can grow into systemic risk. A high perceived risk always takes care of itself and does never grow to be a systemic threat.

The regulators fixated themselves so much on stopping a bank from failing, that they ignored the system. Besides, who would like to live in a world where banks did not fail?

Currently small businesses and entrepreneurs, only because of the arbitrary, regressive and discriminatory capital requirements, need to pay the banks 2 percent more per year in order to provide the banks with the same return on capital that a loan or an investment to a triple-A rated client yields them. And this on top of the higher interests the small businesses and entrepreneurs anyway have to pay. Crazy!

I invite you to a brief lesson on how bank regulators have become so fixated on seeing the gorilla in the room that they completely lost track of the ball.

Per Kurowski
A former Executive Director at the World Bank (2002-2004)