Sunday, March 24, 2013

Basel Committee, Financial Stability Board, please do not make fun of us, or bullshit yourselves

Here is a document, which in 2005 explains why bank regulators like Mario Draghi, Lord Turner, Alan Greenspan, Mark Carney, Stefan Ingves, Michel Barnier and many other, and commentators like Martin Wolf, decided to give their full backing, in 2004, to Basel II capital requirements based on perceived risk.

It says: “This paper purely focuses on explaining the Basel II risk weight formulas in a non-technical way by describing the economic foundations as well as the underlying mathematical model and its input parameters”… and so unfortunately “By its very nature this means that this document cannot describe the full depth of the Basel Committee’s thinking as it developed the IRB framework”… but luckily for us “For further, more technical reading, references to background papers are provided.” 

Is someone trying to make fun of us? 

The document details: 

“The model should be portfolio invariant, i.e. the capital required for any given loan should only depend on the risk of that loan and must not depend on the portfolio it is added to. This characteristic has been deemed vital in order to make the new IRB framework applicable to a wider range of countries and institutions. 

Taking into account the actual portfolio composition when determining capital for each loan - as is done in more advanced credit portfolio models - would have been a too complex task for most banks and supervisors alike. The desire for portfolio invariance, however, makes recognition of institution-specific diversification effects within the framework difficult: diversification effects would depend on how well a new loan fits into an existing portfolio. 

As a result the Revised Framework was calibrated to well diversified banks. Where a bank deviates from this ideal it is expected to address this under Pillar 2 of the framework. If a bank failed at this, supervisors would have to take action under the supervisory review process (pillar 2).” 

And so that means to tell us our and all other bank supervisors around the globe who have adopted Basel II are up to this? 


PS. Who wrote it?