Saturday, October 17, 2015

Who helps me getting bank regulators to even acknowledge the biggest systemic error in Basel I, II and III?

In 1999 in an Op-Ed I wrote: “The possible Big Bang that scares me the most is the one that could happen the day those genius bank regulators in Basel, playing Gods, manage to introduce a systemic error in the financial system, which will cause its collapse”

A Big Bang happened. I know what that systemic error is, but embarrassed regulators don’t want to even acknowledge the problem… and so they keep us traveling down the same crazy road... on route to the next Big Bang.

The most fundamental systemic error, is the credit risk weighted capital requirements.

To estimate the unexpected losses for which banks should have capital, the dummkopfs used expected credit risk. 

Banks consider credit risks when setting the interest rates, the amounts of exposures and other contractual terms.

So when regulators decided that the capital banks should hold against unexpected losses was to be based on ex ante expected credit losses, then they force-fed the banks to consider credit risk twice.

And any risk, even when perfectly perceived, produces a wrong decision if excessively considered.

And so here are our bank lending too much to The Safe, like the governments (sovereigns) and the AAArisktocracy, and too little, or nothing to The Risky, the SMEs and entrepreneurs… those tough we need to get going, especially when the going gets tough.

And you can find in my blogs and in several publications innumerable occasions when I have presented this argument… and most other “experts”, or media like the Financial Times, have not yet even acknowledged the existence of the problem in clear terms.

Friends, can you help me stop these besserwisser busybody hubristic bank regulators from interfering with the allocation of bank credit to the real economy?

What important institution dares to set up a conference on the theme “Do credit-risk weighted capital requirements dangerously distort the allocation of bank credit to the real economy? World Bank? IMF?

PS. Perhaps I should refer to the Basel regulators as just another bunch of statists? I say this because, believe it or not, in the Basel Accord of 1988, they assigned a zero percent risk weight to the sovereign, and a 100 percent risk weight to the private sector. 

PS. There was of course another systemic error. The exaggerated use of the credit ratings On that, in January 2003, in a letter to FT I wrote: “Everyone knows that, sooner or later, the ratings issued by the credit agencies are just a new breed of systemic errors, about to be propagated at modern speeds. Friends, as it is, the world is tough enough.”

PS. While I was an Executive Director of the World Bank, 2002-04, the following were my totally ignored comments on bank regulations.