Wise Reflections on Two Topics:  RBC and the Inflation Outlook

Two experienced bank regulators on risk-based capital:

Comment by  leo.sammallahti@coop.exchange:

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 don’t 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.  A recent memo on RBC.

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.”

The Inflation Tax-an Excerpt

“… So, yes, inflation is here. It’s real. And it’s slowing the economy. It’s like a giant new tax on households and businesses, and wage hikes aren’t a panacea. And now you have a Fed that has partly caused the problem, by overstimulating demand relative to the preparedness of the supply side, and ends up with an economic slowdown anyway. What’s worse, these resulting high food and energy prices hurt low-income households the most–the very contingent that the Fed’s super-easy-monetary policy was supposed to help by letting things “run hot” this time around.

And finally, on the fiscal side, the situation doesn’t look much better. Politico has a piece today about how the stimulus checks and child tax credits aren’t delivering for Democrats; “whatever political benefits were supposed to accrue…have seemingly faded,” they write. “Giving people money may not be the dispositive political winner that they imagined.”

It may simply be that voters are smart enough to connect the dots and realize what all this cash and Fed stimulus has done to the economy–and how little it can fix of the lingering Covid challenges.”

From: Kelly Evans, kelly@cnbc.com, The Inflation Tax, October 11, 2021

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