consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Giants among us. Big banks - too failed to be big? Imperious. Feet of clay?

Daniel 2:32 et seq. Here, plus a web search.

Strib local coverage and NOT a carried AP feed, Adam Belz, here and more recently, here.

Prior to the Bushco Sept. 2008 big splat, the question of bank capital levels was a can kicked down the road, and kicked further, many agreeing with their friends on either side of the question; but leverage offers the potential for both greater gains and greater risks; so is risk aversion best among bankers; an allegedly sober bunch - but my, how they can gamble. There was/is Basel I, and II, and still among us, Basel III, and still the blighters stay as thinly capitalized and as highly leveraged as they believe they can get away with and in anticipation of public bailouts when/if their fans load up. Such bailout history fits under the term "moral hazard" which economists use from time to time, but bankers seldom do except when squeezing on debtors owing them monthly money - where granting grace is a moral hazard encouraging inadequate attention to on time, full amount.

Re Basel variants: This websearch, the IBS here and here, and from within the belly of the Beast, here and here. Also, you can do your own web searching. Prior to the Bushco 9/08 splat (bigger than 9/11 in reach, but we invaded nobody over that one). Numerous academic items were posted before and after 9/08, e.g., explore SSRN online literature (not behind a paywall); IDEAS, (specifically here); NBER (if you can get past the paywall; see also IDEAS, here).

If sampling anything from all that literature, recall the saying that GATT stands for "Gentlemen Always Talk and Talk," an interesting word play still, even if anachronistic in light of Yellen, etc. Back to feet of clay, this interesting online item gets biblical about Daniel re Revelations, citing Revelation 17:12-13 where there are twelve and not ten Federal Reserve Districts; and with the head Fed that's thirteen and we could go into biblical numerology over that situation; but will not. Instead, imaging that pyramid with the big eye on top being built on quicksand.


By the way, readers, don't you think credit card debt interest rates are usurious? And shouldn't citizens be able to get out from under the big rock crushing them by full debt discharge via a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (absent fraud and after passage of a mandated waiting period after a last prior use of bankruptcy total debt liquidation rights)? Why do we have those lingering hooks in our flesh, and those sky-high Capital One rates? Is it because bankers lobby and pay candidates from presidential elections down to state legistures, perhaps more locally in instances? Would that matter, in an ideal political world? Do you suppose our legislature could propose a Minnesota Constitution amendment expanding regular usury coverage to credit card debt, or would that, conveniently, be federally preempted? One does not know without trying. Kurt Daudt could be a sponsor. He likely might have the will, but would his colleagues in both houses have the will, and would our good governor need to sign off, if an amendment ballot proposal format were used? Might such a proposal liven up this November's election, if our legislature were to pass one? Hypotheticals can be intriguing, as can lobbyists in another sense of the word.

A final note, pundits can disagree; and if you can get the video to load and play you can see they also can disagree rudely, each trying to talk over the other, neither being shy when it comes to talking out an opinion. Same online news outlet, some trumpery, again if you can get the video to load and play. Some browser settings will affect whether you can.

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