Thursday, July 4, 2013

Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister. Here is how to best help to create jobs for our youth

Our banks, for reasons that have not been adequately explained, because regulators themselves do not understand these, allow banks to hold much less capital (equity) against exposures perceived ex ante as “absolutely safe”, than against exposures perceived as “risky”.

That allows banks to earn much higher expected risk-adjusted returns on equity when lending to “The Infallible”, like sovereign and the AAAristocracy, than when lending to “The Risky”.

That distorts and makes it impossible for banks allocate economic resources efficiently in the real economy. 

And it also serves no purpose, since all bank crises in history have resulted exclusively from excessive exposures to what was erroneously perceived ex ante as absolutely safe, none from excessive exposures to what was perceived as “risky”.

And that hinders “The Risky”, the small and medium businesses and entrepreneurs, those who could perhaps generate of those jobs our youth urgently need, from having access to bank credit in competitive terms.

And therefore we must urgently eliminate this regulatory discrimination against risk taking. We did not get to where we are by avoiding risks, much the contrary.

In order to do that, the best route includes a mixture of:

Increasing capital requirements for banks, on exposures to “The Infallible”

Temporarily lowering capital requirements for banks, on exposures to “The Risky”

Creating the incentives needed to stimulate and facilitate important capital increases in the banks.

If regulators just cannot resist from interfering, ask these to give banks instead the incentives of lower capital requirements, based on potential-of-job-creation-for-our-youth ratings.

As is, banks do not finance the future they only refinance the pastGod make us daring!