Why liquidity should not be banks’ poison (alone)!

Central Banks worldwide, our RBI included are busy providing Reserve Requirement cuts and Emergency liquidity mop ups to ensure inter bank market fluidity and avoid a situation like for Italy and Belgium, Spain and others last November in Europe.

The ongoing Euro crisis is not just the cause of this drying up, but in fact few would probably bother to

English: The logo of Deutsche Bank AG without ...
Image via Wikipedia

remember that 2008 was a result of this extreme loss of liquidity. why that happened and why banks are wrongly considering themselves only for the liquidity charter or seedings is that inordinate rush to fund the entire banking assets with inter bank overnighters. RBS included 70% of Capital from short term sources when it went down in 2007, Lehman did not get a Fed licence to add liquidity as Capital for its next balance sheet when it ran out of collateral in September 2008.

Deutsche Bank and BofA are still selling assets to add capital back not because the bar was raised by the governments to Tier I capital but in these cases just because they relied entirely on overnight markets ( BofA means the investment bank with a banking licence in Merrill Lynch too) and after sales of $50 bln in assets, the bank still needs another equal amount from non available Capital to survive.

Deleveraging thus is as much a response to clampdowns on use of inter bank notes as long term capital for Basel 3 requirements as anything else. Above all behind a well regulated bank, pointed out by Menaka here, is the new realisation that you can’t leave on the neighbour’s bread all year and need to absolve yourself of the charter to provide continuous liquidity to markets. Banks should focus on long term lending and matching sources of funding to the tenure of the funding they do than just sit on liquidity windows pressuring themselves and the banking system.

Also as we mentioned in our popular series in October and by Simon on WSJ

 Banks currently hold capital well in excess of regulatory standards, but that is due to pressure from markets, not regulators, who gave banks until 2019 to meet the new Basel III rules. There isn’t much point in regulators extending this deadline, and it would probably undermine confidence if they did. Reducing capital weights on business lending might help but is currently illegal under European law.

One thought on “Why liquidity should not be banks’ poison (alone)!

Comments are closed.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: