“Fallacies, Irrelevant Facts, and Myths in the Discussion of Capital Regulation: Why Bank Equity Is Not Expensive”
Real Reasons Bankers Don’t Like Basel’s Rules: Clive Crook – Bloomberg. Why bankers’ whining about higher equity requirements is just that:
A much-cited paper by Stanford’s Anat Admati and colleagues — “Fallacies, Irrelevant Facts, and Myths in the Discussion of Capital Regulation: Why Bank Equity Is Not Expensive” — should have ended this debate once and for all. It dismantles the banks’ position step by painstaking step.
The study makes the crucial distinction between the interests of bank managers, bank shareholders and the public at large. Managers are being disingenuous. They do have reasons, valid after a fashion, for opposing higher capital requirements, just not reasons they can admit. The one they emphasize — cost of funding and its effect on future lending — is fit for public use, but bogus.
What might their real reasons be? If banks sell more shares, it’s true that the return on equity will fall. If managers’ pay is tied to return on equity (as it often is), they will be worse off. Shareholders, on the other hand, shouldn’t mind, because the risk of their investment is reduced in proportion. Taxpayers, of course, would be better off — less likely to be stuck at some point with the cost of bailing out the bank.
The paper is here.
Cross-posted at Asymptosis.