Thursday, December 5, 2013

Performing the asset quality review of European banks will ECB’s staff have the guts to call out the mistakes of Mario Draghi?

If the European banks’ asset quality review is going to serve any real purpose, the ECB must dare to question everything.

Foremost that should mean not having to accept at face value those ludicrous low risk-weightings concocted by the neo-Sherriff of Nottingham, the Basel Committee, in order to induce banks to lend more and cheaper to the King John’s of Europe, and to its AAAristocracy; and to lend less to Robin Hood and his small businesses and entrepreneurial friends… while arguing all the time that this regulatory nonsense would make banks safer.

And so, in its review, ECB needs to identify the risk of all excessive exposures to any “absolutely safe assets”, like of the loans to the “infallible sovereigns”. 

And ECB also needs to identify all those really productive European “risky” bank assets, like loans to small businesses and start-ups, and that should have been on bank balances, but unfortunately are not... only because these have basically been prohibited by the regulators senseless risk adverse risk-weighted capital requirements.

But Mario Draghi, the current President of the ECB, was also for many years the chair of the Financial Stability Board; and is therefore very much to blame for these very wrong incentives given to the banks… those that signified that banks could earn much much higher risk-adjusted returns on their equity when lending to "The Infallible" than when lending to "The Risky".

And so do you really think ECB's staff  will dare get down to the truth? Even if that truth implies their ECB’s boss credentials are not good? Or will they still try to leave Europe in blissful ignorance of why Europe is going down, down, down... as it is giving the incentives to avoid keeping taking the risks which made it into what it is.