Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What if Mark Twain knew about the capital requirements for banks in Basel I, II and III, based on ex ante perceived risks?

If Mark Twain resurrected, and read about what our current bank regulator came up with, in terms of capital requirements based on perceived risk, which allow the banks to earn much much higher risk-adjusted returns on equity when lending to “The Infallible”, than when lending to “The Risky”, he would need to expand on his opinion on bankers, to something like what follows:

A bank regulator is one who likes the banker to lend out the umbrella when the sun shines, even more than what a banker likes to do that, truly amazing; and one who wants the banker to take that umbrella back when there is the slightest indication it could rain, even faster than what the banker would like to do, equally truly amazing.