Sunday, October 20, 2013

In the hands of self righteous, arrogant, dumb and unsupervised bank regulators, Europe is doomed.

Let there be no doubt. Basel II did the eurozone in, but, Basel III, is fundamentally still a perceived risk-based bank regulatory regime. All its new concoctions, like Leverage Ratio, Liquidity Coverage Ratio and Net Stable Funding Ratio are, admittedly, only backstops, supplements or complements.

And this means that banks will still be allowed to hold much less capital against loans to “The Infallible”, like to sovereigns, the housing sector and the AAAristocracy, than against loans to “The Risky”, like to medium and small businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups.

And that means, of course, banks will be making much higher expected risk-adjusted returns on equity when lending to The Infallible than when lending to The Risky.

And that means, of course, banks will not lend to the future, only refinance the past.

And that means, of course, Europe will not risk exploring sufficiently the new adventurous bays it needs in order to sustain a movement forward, and to create sturdy jobs for its youth, and will therefore die, gasping for oxygen, in dangerously overpopulated safe havens.

Europe, I cry for you. You have no idea of what you have gotten yourself into. Your banking system has been overtaken by what must be the stupidest risk-averse mentality, incapable of understanding the simple fact that what is perceived, ex ante, as “risky”, has never ever caused a major bank crisis, only what has been erroneously perceived as absolutely safe do that.

Europe, for your own sake, rid yourself of the false Pharisees in the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision and in the Financial Stability Board, as fast as you can!

God make us daring!