Thursday, October 27, 2011

We can count ourselves lucky golf is not regulated by a Basel Committee

"I play with friends, but we don't play friendly games." Ben Hogan 

In reference to the recent published history of the Basel Committee of Banking Supervision (early years 1974-1997) by Charles Goodhart, I must say that we golf players, who enjoy a handicap system that allows us bad players to play against the good ones, should feel very lucky that system did not fall in the hands of something like a Basel Committee of Golf Supervision. 

Had that happened and had that Committee followed the same mentality as the BCBS, we could have ended up with a system that allows good players extra strokes and takes away strokes from the bad, which, in essence is what the current capital requirements for banks based on ex-ante perceived risk do. 

The end result of such a system would be to little by little weed out all bad players until only the best one was left standing, victorious, but with no friend to play with. 

Likewise current bank regulations are little by little eliminating the access to bank credit to those perceived as “risky” and concentrating it in lesser and lesser borrowers perceived as not-risky. 

In this respect, having weeded out all “risky” small businesses and entrepreneurs and now doing the same to sovereigns, like falling domino pieces, the US dollar might end up as the last absolute-risk-free-borrower-standing, but what’s the use of that if he then has no friend to play an "unfriendly" game with?

PS. Here´s a video that explains a fraction of the stupidity of our bank regulations, in an apolitical red and blue!