Monday, March 20, 2017

Here is a question to all of you who have read Charles P. Kindleberger’s emblematic “Manias, Panics and Crashes”

In that book, a History of Financial Crises, (6 editions!) did you find something whatsoever that would in the least indicate to you, that current risk-weighted capital requirements for banks could bring stability to our banking system?

I haven’t, much the contrary!

This non-portfolio adjusted risk weighted regulation would only seem to feed more into speculative bubbles… when times are good, a lot seems good, and so a lot gets bank credit… until something gets too much bank credit... and is not so good any longer. 

And if so many crises were caused by unexpected events... how can you settle on regulating based on expected risks?

Could it be that current bank regulators never ever read this book? 

Could it be that regulators never even looked for what has caused bank crises before regulating these? 

Yes, apparently, amazingly, that’s how it seems.

If in doubt just reflect that in Basel II of 2004, the regulators awarded a risk weight of only 20% to that so dangerous for the banking system as what’s rated AAAs, and slammed a 150% risk weight on the so really innocuous below BB- rated, that which would never ever attract excessive bank exposures.

If you happen upon a bank regulator ask him these questions and see him cringe