Friday, January 23, 2015

Scene 6 on the crazy reality lived while “Banking in times of the Basel Committee”

Jr. Credit Officer Martin: “But Sir, how can we put this 30 years, 11 percent, lousily awarded mortgage into a security that aspires an AAA rating?” 

Bank President Wally: “Easy, let me explain it to you Martin. To put a proper AAA quality mortgage, with a proper interest rate into that security, would be absolutely useless, as it would generate no profits for us. But, if we put that very bad mortgage you refer to in a security, and manage to get an AAA rating for it, then we can resell it as earning solely a six percent return… and that would mean an instant profit to be share among us all of $210.000. Irresistible eh?” 

Jr. Credit Officer Martin: “But Sir, would not the bankers find out how bad these AAA rated securities were?” 

Bank President Wally: “Dear Martin, when you are allowed, by your regulator, to leverage your equity more than 60 times, only because an AAA to AA rating is present, and which means that if you believe you can make a 1 percent margin means you expect a 60 percent return on your equity, you do not make a lot of questions. You see, if the ratings only go down to the range of A+ to A, then banks can only leverage those securities less than 25 times. Imagine from more than 60 to less than 25!...

In fact Martin, it is the European banks and our US investment banks who are demanding these AAA securities so much that frankly we have to cut corners… don’t forget that we are a service company… and we do what our clients wants us to do... hi-hi-hi!”