Saturday, April 24, 2010

The financial crisis explained to non-experts, dummies and financial regulators.

The play: The dangerously safe playgrounds!
1st scene: Some extremely wimpy parents concerned so much more with their small children’s safety than with their development picked out three independent surveyors to rate the safety of the playgrounds their children frequented.
2nd scene: In order for their small children to want to go to the safest but somewhat boring playgrounds they presented them with the choice of having some very good goodies if they went there or having to settle for some bad cold porridge if they went to the more fun park.

Kids, this or that?

3rd scene: But since the good goodies were too good, and the cold porridge too bad, and there was a natural lack of too safe playgrounds, too many children went to too few parks… where, unfortunately... they trampled themselves to death.
Epilogue: When will they ever learn? Though the kids need some risk to develop strong and not obese, and though the truly safe playgrounds are a fidget of their imagination, during the funerals, we still hear the parents planning on making the good goodies gooder and the cold porridge colder.
What the play teaches us is that with wimpy, gullible and naïve parents like these, the kids are better off running alone in the street.
The cast:
As the wimpy parents, we have the financial regulators of the Basel Committee.
As the young children, we have the banks.
As good goodies, we have a 1.6 percent capital requirements for any bank lending related to an AAA rating.
As cold porridge, we have an 8 percent capital requirements for any bank lending related to an unrated small business or entrepreneur.
As safe playgrounds turned unsafe, we have the subprime mortgages.
As the playground safety rating agency… if you cannot figure it out for yourself you’re just too dumb.
And as all the grandparents or elder siblings who, because they were not interested or did not want to erode the parental authority, did not warn the parents… we have thousands of financial experts and PhDs.