Experts Views on Why Risk Based Capital Fails

Following the 2008/9 Great Recession and financial crisis,  many commentaries and studies asked why the risk-based capital requirements did not prevent severe losses in banks.

The following are the conclusions from several regulators and studies.


One Reply to “Experts Views on Why Risk Based Capital Fails”

  1. What banks perceive as safe is more dangerous to the financial system than what banks perceive as risky. Financial crises are not caused by banks engaging too much in activities deemed risky, but by activities deemed to be safe turning out to be riskier than thought.

    Per Kurowski is a former Executive Director of the World Bank for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain and Venezuela who has been on a decade long crusade against risk weighted capital requirements. Recommend googling him – if you come across a YouTube channel with covers of Latin American pop songs dont be mistaken to think that is not him. It is him, and the channel includes also videos about his thoughts on banking. He also has a blog.

    As Paul Volcker, the former head of the federal reserve said:

    “Over time, the inherent problems with the risk weighted bank capital-based approach became apparent. The assets assigned the lowest risk, for which capital requirements were therefore low or nonexistent, were those that had the most political support: sovereign credits and home mortgages. Ironically, losses on those two types of assets would fuel the global crisis in 2008 and a subsequent European crisis in 2011.”

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