Thursday, November 9, 2017

When government bureaucrats are favored more than entrepreneurs in the access to bank credit, the game is soon over

In 1988, with Basel I, out of some Pandora box, for the purpose of setting the capital requirements for banks,the  regulators came up with a risk weight of 0% for sovereigns and of 100% for citizens. As a result banks need to hold much less equity when lending to sovereigns than when lending to citizens.

That 0% risk weight was premised on that sovereigns were in possession of the money-printing machines and could therefore always repay. I am sure the Medici’s would have shivered hearing such a generous risk assessment.

So, since then, banks have been allowed to leverage much more with loans to sovereigns than with loans to citizens; and therefore obtain much higher risk adjusted returns on equity when lending to sovereigns than when for instance lending to entrepreneurs. 

That de facto implies believing in that a government bureaucrat can use bank credit that he himself has not to repay, better than an entrepreneur.

That alone should suffice to make clear how loony and statist the current bank regulations are.

But the world keeps mum on this. As I see it this is a regulatory crime against humanity that should be punishable.

Here is a more extensive explanation of the mistakes of risk weighted capital requirements for banks.