Friday, January 20, 2017

President Trump, here is a conflict of interest on which many would appreciate you acted on in your own future self-interest.

President Trump. 

I am not an American, so I did not vote. But had I been I must confess I would most likely have voted for the Gary Johnson escape-valve. Congrats anyhow!

Mr. President, you have all your life been an entrepreneur, of one sort or another. As such we could easily presume you have quite often needed to have access to bank credit. Once you are back to civil life in some years, I also assume you would like to reassume your life as entrepreneur, since once one, forever one, and therefore to again have access to bank credit.

Now President Trump, you might not be much aware of it, few really are, and there are of course those interested in it not to be known, or at least not understood but, since 1988, with the Basel Accord, for purposes of determining how much capital banks should hold, the risk weighted for ordinary citizen borrowers was set at 100%, while if it was the central government doing the borrower, then the risk weight was 0%. Yes, you read right… 0%!

That has introduced a disastrous discrimination against all SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs when accessing bank credit. The risk aversion that regulation signifies banks no longer finance the riskier future our children need to be financed, they mostly just refinance the “safer” past and present.

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for.” John A Shedd, 1850-1926

To top it up, regulators have not been able to realize that all this does not make the banking sector any safer. All major bank crises have only resulted from unexpected events, criminal behavior or excessive exposures to what ex ante was perceived as very safe but that ex post turned out very risky. No major bank crises ever was the result of excessive exposures to something ex ante perceived risky.

May God defend me from my friends, I can defend myself from my enemies” Voltaire

So President Trump, please help America, and the rest of the world ,to banish forever this dangerous nonsense of the risk-weighted capital requirements for banks.

I have tried to inform, for instance your Consumer Financial Protection Bureau CFPB and so many others about this, but they have not been interested. You as an Entrepreneur President do surely stand a better chance to catch their attentions.

PS. When it comes to bank regulations that could destroy the economy of your country, is that not also an issue for Homeland Security?

PS. What poses a bigger threat to American jobs, Mexicans, Canadians or robots?