Sunday, December 13, 2015

Understand what originated the bank crisis and what stops the economies from recovering in 157 words

Bank regulators told our credit risk adverse banks: 

“If you take on Safe assets, we will allow you to leverage your equity and the support you receive from the society more than 60 to 1 times but, if Risky assets then you cannot leverage more than 12 to 1.” 

And that of course meant banks would be earning much higher risk adjusted returns on equity on assets perceived or made out to be Safe, than on “Risky” assets. 

It was like telling children: “If you eat up your ice cream then you can have chocolate cake too but, if you eat spinach, then you must eat broccoli too. 

And so banks built up excessive dangerous financial exposures to “Safe” assets, like AAA rated securities and loans to Greece, which detonated the crisis. 

And so banks are reluctant to hold Risky assets, like loans to SMEs and entrepreneurs, which makes it impossible to get out of the crisis.” 

And, amazingly, most describe what happened and is happening with our banks in terms of deregulated entities and failed markets.