Wednesday, January 30, 2013

We “the real economy” would appreciate this:

That some banks restructure their business into a much less risky operation so as to be able to attract shareholders that appreciate much less risk, like widows and orphans, pension funds and insurance companies and are therefore satisfied with lower returns. 

That could be done by banks by for instance voluntarily agree to hold 15 percent in capital against all of their assets, with none of that horrendous risk differentiation that so much distorts bank lending, by discriminating specially against those “risky” not so risky for banks, businesses and entrepreneurs that try to build an economic future on the margin of the real economy.

And the government, and the FDIC, should be very appreciative of such an evolution, and perhaps should consider giving special long term tax exemptions to any new capital raised for these too-strong-to-fail banks... and that by definition will have a lower return on equity.

If $500bn of fresh bank capital was raised, with that 15 percent capital against all assets, that would leave room for $3 trillion of new bank credit. 

And we, “the real economy”, would certainly very much welcome the managers and the shareholders of the banks, taking a much smaller bite out of us.