Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What are we to do with the Financial Stability Board?

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) reported from their meeting in Seoul on October 20 ahead of the G20 Summit in Seoul and endorsed principles for reducing reliance on credit rating agency (CRA) ratings as follows:

“The goal of the principles is to reduce the cliff effects from CRA ratings that can amplify procyclicality and cause systemic disruption. The principles call on authorities to do this through:

Removing or replacing references to CRA ratings in laws and regulations, wherever possible, with suitable alternative standards of creditworthiness assessment;

Expecting that banks, market participants and institutional investors make their own credit assessments, and not rely solely or mechanistically on CRA ratings.”

Since FSB does not even mention the risk-weights we can only assume FSB feels that all what went wrong was the excessive reliance on the credit ratings. They have no clue. What went really wrong was the way the regulators arbitrarily assigned to the different credit ratings the different risk-weights which determined the capital requirements for banks… like the 20% risk-weight for any lending to private entities rated triple-A or 0% risk weight on any lending to sovereigns rated triple-A.

In other words the FSB is unable or unwilling to understand that the credit rating agencies could have been totally wrong and yet they would never have produces the damage they did with their faulty ratings, had they not been so incredible endorsed by the bank regulators.

And neither does FSB understand that their regulatory favors to what is perceived as having a low risk of default, amounts only to an odious discrimination of what is perceived as having a higher risk of default, and all for no real purpose at all, since we all know that what is perceived as risky does never carry the potential to turn into a systemic danger.

And so friends what are we to do with the thick-as-a-brick Financial Stability Board?