Thursday, November 15, 2012

Do you really think we can move forward discriminating in favor of “The Infallible” and against "The Risky"?

The kinder face of economic reality already favors the access to bank credit of “The Infallible”… lower interest rates, bigger loans and easier terms. 

And the harsher face of economic reality already disfavors the access to bank credit of “The Risky”…higher interest rates, smaller loans and stricter terms. 

But, when regulators allow banks to hold much less capital when lending to “The Infallible" than when lending to “The Risky”, then the banks will be able to earn a much higher risk-adjusted return on their equity lending to The Infallible than when lending to “The Risky”.

And so then “The Infallible” will be charged even lower interest rates, get even larger loans and on even easier terms, while “The Risky”, like our not-so-good rated or unrated small business and entrepreneurs, will be charged even higher interest rates, get even smaller loans and have to accept even stricter terms. 

And so let me ask you, do you really think this regulatory discrimination in favor of The Infallible and against The Risky makes an economic sense that might compensate for its injustice? I don’t, quite the opposite! 

It is outright foolish from an economic perspective, as it impedes banks to allocate our economic resources efficiently. And, to top it up, it brings more instability to the banking system because the bank exposures to what is ex-ante perceived as part of “The Infallible”, which are the only exposures that can set of a systemic crisis if ex-post these turn out to belong to “The Risky”, will not only be much higher but the banks will also be receiving the blows holding much less capital.

In truth bank regulators castrated our banks, and so these are all singing in falsetto now… and even badly so.

Frankly, between you and me, if I really thought the regulators had concocted these dumb regulations which are destroying our economies and causing so much suffering, knowingly and on purpose, I would consider that to be an act of high treason, and suggest they be shot, on the spot.