Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Trade wars will mean new tariffs

There is another tariff war that is being dangerously ignored. 

The July 6 editorial "A splendid little tariff war?" rightly held that "tariffs create all sort of inefficiencies, unintended consequences and uncertainty."

The risk-weighted capital requirements for banks also translate de facto into subsidies and tariffs, which have resulted in a too much-ignored allocation of bank credit war. 

One consequence is that those perceived as risky, such as entrepreneurs, have their access to bank credit made more difficult than usual, and our economy suffers. Another is that by promoting excessive exposures to what is especially dangerous, because it is perceived as safe, against especially little capital, guarantees that when a bank crisis results, it will be especially bad. 

In terms of Mark Twain's supposed saying, these regulations have bankers lending out the umbrella faster than usual when the sun shines and wanting it back faster than usual when it looks like it is going to rain.

Letter published in the Washington Post