Friday, February 6, 2015

When will regulators ever learn? The risks to banks are not the same as the risks banks pose to us.

Banks need to perceive the risks of their assets, and to manage these correctly. And, if they are unable to do so, then it is good riddance.

We instead need for banks to perceive their risks and manage these sufficiently well, so that to avoid major overspills to us by having to pay for bailouts or other means; and also, primarily, we need them to allocate their credit efficiently to the real economy.

Unfortunately, current regulators, with their credit-risk weighted equity requirements for banks, focus mainly on the risks of the assets of banks, acting as if they were bankers, and are therefore not regulating on behalf of our needs and interests.

Bankers love it, no doubt about it. As a result they earn higher risk-adjusted returns on their equity on what is perceived as safe than on what is perceived as risky. It is banker’s dream come true.

And in this respect we can say the current score is “Banker’s needs 2 – Our needs 0”

When will we as a society show sufficient character and responsibility to stand up to the “experts" in the Basel Committee, and in the Financial Stability Board, so as to hold them really accountable?