Friday, August 22, 2014

Bank regulators hate me when I ask this simple question. They refuse to answer it. They can’t! That’s the real problem!

The Question: Sir, current risk weighted capital requirements for banks are based on the perceptions of risk by credit rating agencies and bankers. But if bankers and credit rating agencies perceive the risks correctly there should be no major problems. So why are not the capital requirements for banks based instead on the credit risks not being correctly perceived by bankers and credit agencies?

As is, the perceived risks are now, besides being cleared for in the interest rate charged by the banks and in the amount of exposure accepted,also cleared, for a second time, in the required bank capital (equity). And that has created the distortions that make the banks lend dangerously much to what is perceived as “absolutely safe”, and dangerously little to what is perceived as “risky”, like to medium and small businesses, entrepreneurs and start ups.

As is, the risk with risk weighted capital requirements for banks is much greater than the risks which are being weighted! Got it?

I suspect the whole mess results from the fact that when regulators were given an explanation similar to that which appears in “The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision´sExplanatory Note on the Basel II IRB Risk Weight Functions of July 2005”… they did not understand one iota of it, but did not want to admit that in front of their equally befuddled colleagues. In other words, could it be the weak egos of expert bank regulators which provoked this financial crisis.

A subsequent problem is of course that too few are capable of daring to think that globally renowned experts can be so utterly wrong… and so they do not dare to help me to ask The Question.

Friends, we have to put a stop to the lack of accountability of those working in Committees which decisions have global implications. Can you imagine what could happen to the earth if similar weak egos are placed in charge of a Global Warming Supervision Committee in Basel?