Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fed, during the last 15 years what were the capital requirements for a US bank when lending to Puerto Rico?

The single most important reason for which Greece’s debt levels got so out of whack was that the European bank regulators, out of misunderstood solidarity, also gave Greece, for purposes of capital requirements for banks a 0% risk weight. 

That of course allowed banks to leverage much more loans to Greece than loans let us say to an unrated European SME, which of course allowed banks to earn higher risk adjusted returns on equity lending to Greece than lending to an unrated European SME. (The Greek citizens now suffering have not held those regulators accountable for that lunacy)

Now we read: “The Puerto Rico debt, a result of generations of mismanagement, was enabled by Wall Street, which was enticed by the fact it was tax free everywhere in the U.S. and risky enough to provide rich yields.” “Trump Suggests Puerto Rico’s Debt May Need to Be ‘Wiped Out’” Justin Sink, Bloomberg, October 3.

“Mismanagement?” With respect to debt it takes as a minimum two to tango, the borrower and the creditor; and since distorting risk weighted capital requirements were introduced, the regulators also participate in that dance. 

So my immediate info request to the Fed would be: Over the last 15 years, so that we have some pre 2007-08 crisis figures too, can you show us precisely the evolution of how much capital American banks were required to hold when lending to Puerto Rico?

Who knows, Puerto Rican citizens might want to sue the Fed for stimulating an excessive lending/borrowing to Puerto Rico.

PS. It would also be interesting to know how much banks were required to hold against a loan to an unrated SME in Puerto Rico. To compare those requirements would allow us to establish whether there was some statist regulatory favoritism of the Puerto Rico government.