En el Financial Times del domingo, Martin Wolf, probablemente el columnista económico más influyente y respetado del mundo, escribe un artículo de obligada lectural titulado: “Why bankers are intellectually naked“.

En realidad se trata de una reseña, muy elogiosa, de “The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do About It“, un libro de muy reciente publicación de Anat Admati y Martin Hellwig, profesores en la Universidad de Princeton y el Max Plack Institute.

Algunos extractos:

“The UK’s Independent Commission on Banking, of which I was a member, made a modest proposal: the proportion of the balance sheet of UK retail banks that has to be funded by equity, instead of debt, should be raised to 4 per cent. This would be just a percentage point above the figure suggested by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The government rejected this, because of lobbying by the banks”.

“If you think that running banks with so little loss-absorbing equity is crazy, you are right. This book shows you why you are right. It is the most important to emerge from the crisis”.

“One makes banks stronger by forcing them to fund themselves with more equity and less debt. In recommending this change, the authors – Anat Admati of Stanford and Martin Hellwig of the Max Planck Institute – are bold. They want an equity ratio of 20-30 per cent. This is not mad. The case is grounded in the financial theory bankers apply to everything, except themselves”.

 “The problem is bigger than that banks are “too big” or “too interconnected” to fail. It is that they are so complex and so grossly undercapitalised. The model is intellectually bankrupt. The reason that this is not more widely accepted is that bankers are so influential and the economics are so widely misunderstood. Read this book. You will then understand the economics. Once you have done so, you will also appreciate that we have failed to remove the causes of the crisis. Further such crises will come”.
Pero recomiendo la lectura de la reseña entera. Y diría que del libro. Yo ya lo he encargado.