Thursday, December 24, 2015

My sincere Christmas wish: That our bank regulators wake up and understand what they are doing to our children.

On December 24, 1941, in Washington DC, Winston Churchill ended his Christmas speech to war torn England with: “By our sacrifice and daring, [our] children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied their right to live in a free and decent world.”

I absolutely do not pretend being something like Winston Churchill but, here in Washington, on December 24, 2015, 74 years later, I assure you all that: By us not daring to allow our banks to dare, we are robbing our children of their inheritance and denying their right to live in a free and decent world.

I pray our bank regulators in 2016 wake up to understand how much their credit risk weighted capital requirements for banks, distort the allocation of bank credit to the real economy.

By allowing banks to earn higher risk adjusted returns on what is perceived as safe than on what is perceived as risky banks do not any longer finance the riskier future but only keep to refinancing the safer past.

In essence we are placing a reverse mortgage on our economies, which will extract its value, without allowing the risk taking needed for something new to take its place.