Thursday, February 26, 2015

What I would be tempted to say to Mario Draghi of the ECB, if I were Yanis Varoufakis of Greece

Mr. Mario Draghi.

You were the chairman of the Financial Stability Board for some years. In this respect, and especially since we have never heard you say otherwise, you were in full agreement with current bank regulations.

These regulations allowed any European bank to leverage much more when lending to the Government of Greece, or to other sovereigns, than when doing any other type of lending in Europe. For instance, Basel II restricted banks to leverage their equity to not more than 12 to 1 when lending to any unrated small business or entrepreneur in Europe, while allowing a leverage of more than 60 to 1 when lending to our government.

And so bankers became too interested in tempting our government with credit; and sadly our government-officials/politicians were unable to resist the sirens, and got too much into debt; and those Greek small businesses or entrepreneurs, those who with their activities are to generate the fiscal income needed to pay for our government’s expenses, they have had their fair access to bank credit severely curtailed.

And so I hold that you, Mario Draghi, are directly co-responsible for Greece’s current tragic predicaments.

Therefore, please allow me to speak with somebody else in the ECB.

PS. What is not included in the Memorandum on Economic and Financial Policies.

PS. Mr. Yanis Varoufakis, ask your own Greek bank regulators the following:

"Why on earth should a bank, operating in Greece, be allowed to lend to well-rated corporations elsewhere, or to sovereign governments, holding less equity than when lending to Greek SMEs and entrepreneurs?

I mean that does not sound right. That sound like a regulatory tax on our “risky” borrowers and a regulatory subsidy to strange “safe” borrowers."