Friday, June 19, 2015

Is the problem with our bank regulators a lack of testosterone?

We have read a lot about excessive testosterone levels producing excessive risk taking, for instance in banks. But, could a deficiency of testosterone equally produce an excessive risk aversion.

Let me explain. Even though the credit risks perceived by bankers are already cleared for by means of the size of the exposure and risk premiums, current bank regulators imposed on banks higher capital requirements for what is perceived as risky than for what is perceived as safe. 

And the above is like adding up the risk aversion of two nannies before deciding what the children can do; and so of course the children are not allowed to do much; and so of course banks will lend too much to the “safe” and too little to the “risky”… and so of course there is a monstrous distortion of the allocation of bank credit to the real economy.

To top it up, it does not serve any stability purpose, since all major bank crises have always resulted from excessive exposures to what was erroneously considered “safe” and never ever to something correctly perceived as risky.

This, being so scared of what is perceived as risky and so little suspicious of what is perceived as safe, is so loony that perhaps it points to a hormonal imbalance. Could it be that current bank regulators have a serious lack of testosterone?

I, as many others, suffer from too much risk aversion, and so I could be suffering from that lack of testosterone too. But, in me, that deficiency presents no major problem, except perhaps for my kids who might therefore not inherit what they could inherit. But, when the testosterone deficiency is present in those who regulate our banks, then we are talking about that kind of systemic illnesses that can even bring a Western world down on its knees.

PS. Again. If you lend too much to what is perceived as risky and too little to what is perceived as safe, then it might be because of excessive testosterone… why then can if you lend too much too what is perceived as safe, and too little to what is perceived as risky, not be a lack of testosterone?