Friday, January 31, 2014

What a bank regulator could be asking himself on his deathbed…

Even though I knew that the capital I should require a bank to hold was primarily a protection against unexpected losses… how could I have been so dumb so as to base the capital requirements on the perceptions about the expected losses?

And how could I have been so dumb so as to accept “portfolio invariant” capital requirements, which obviously does not consider the danger of excessive exposures to what is perceived as “absolutely safe”, nor the benefits of diversification among what is considered as “risky”?

That caused of course banks to make much much higher risk-adjusted returns on equity when lending to “the infallible sovereigns” and the AAAristocracy than when lending to the “Risky”.

And that caused banks to overpopulate some “safe havens” turning these into deadly traps, like AAA rated securities, Greece, real estate in Spain; and equally dangerously to under-explore the more risky but more productive bays, represented by medium and small businesses, the entrepreneurs and the start-ups.

And with all that I helped to screw up the whole Western world economy... especially Europe's

I know most of the world will not forgive me, but I sure pray for that my unemployed children and grandchildren understand that, though admittedly I was very dumb and arrogant, I did not regulate so dumb on purpose… in fact my whole problem began when I and my colleagues started to regulate the banks without even caring to define their purpose.