Sunday, September 2, 2012

A conversation with a prominent, probably brilliant, though mostly silent and invisible bank regulator

You must all have heard Mark Twain’s description of a banker; he who lends you the umbrella when the sun shines and wants it back when it rains. 

But, over the last couple of decades, bank regulators, by allowing banks to have less capital when an asset is perceived as safe, began to even pay the bankers more to lend the umbrella when the sun shines; and, by requiring banks to hold more capital when something is perceived as risky, to even charge the bankers more for not taking the umbrella back fast when it rains. 

And that silliness is the result of regulating banks without defining the purpose of the banks... and of regulators considering the credit ratings, instead of considering what bankers do when they consider credit ratings.

Frankly, who authorized bank regulators to do to our banks what they did?