Thursday, July 23, 2015

Do we really want to bet our economies on government bureaucrats using bank credit better than SMEs and entrepreneurs?

Those who protest government austerity the loudest are frequently those who most want to force banks to increase their capital. Let us analyze the implications of that position:

If governments are not going to be austere and spend more, and consequentially run deficits, it is only natural governments will need to take on more debt.

If banks are forced to hold more capital then, while the banks find more capital and adjust their business models to those new realities, there is going to be quite a lot of austerity when it comes to the supply of bank credit to the economy.

Since current capital requirements for banks are lower when lending to the government than when lending to the private sector, that will generate a bank credit squeeze on the private sector, affecting most especially those against which loans banks needs to hold more equity, like the SMEs and the entrepreneurs.

The only way to bridge the contradiction between government austerity being something bad for the economy, and bank credit austerity something good for the economy, is of course by believing that government bureaucrats can use bank credit more efficiently than SMEs and entrepreneurs. And that friends, is a truly doubtful proposition on which to bet the future of our economies.

Citizens, it behooves us to unite much more than what government bureaucrats/technocrats unite.