Friday, December 07, 2018

The statist Basel Accord should be anathema to the American Constitution.

Charles Krauthammer once wrote the American Constitution “stands for the pillars that define a limited government with enumerated powers, whose mission is to preserve liberty and individual rights”, “The enduring miracle of the American Constitution”, Washington Post, November 30.

In 1988, one year before the Berlin wall fell and so many thought the world had freed itself from communism, America, and much of the developed world, signed up on the Basel Accord. That accord, for the purpose of its risk weighted capital requirements for banks, awarded the sovereign a 0% risk weight, while imposing one of 100% on unrated citizens.

If Krauthammer is right when he wrote of a reverence for the Constitution “so deeply ingrained that we don’t even see it; we just think it’s in the air that we breathe”, I cannot understand the American silence on what clearly is a statist concoction; which I believe goes against everything America and its Constitution stands for.

That seriously distorted the allocation of bank credit in favor of governments and has now painted America into a very dangerous corner; in 1988 America’s public debt was about $2.6bn, now it owes around $21.7bn and still has a 0% risk weight.