Sunday, September 27, 2009

The financial regulator’s exam

Do you believe that the capacity of a client to repay his debt to a bank is so important to the health of the financial system and the economy so that you should not have any other concern than measuring the risk of default?

Do you believe that risk of default could be defined and measured in such a consistent way so as to be used for establishing different capital requirements for banks?

Do you believe there are credit rating organizations capable to resist being captured by those rated even if their ratings are used for establishing the capital requirements of banks?

If you decide to use different capital requirements for banks dependent on credit ratings will this be sufficiently transparent for the markets and not distort their risk allocation mechanism?

As a financial regulator do you see it your duty to stop any bank from defaulting?

Our financial regulators answered yes to all questions above and that is why we are in a mess. What is most incredible is that we allowed our financial regulators to elaborate and correct their exam themselves. From their answers anyone should have been able to see they were not ready to be financial regulators.