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The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It [Format Kindle]

Anat Admati , Martin Hellwig
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

The past few years have shown that risks in banking can impose significant costs on the economy. Many claim, however, that a safer banking system would require sacrificing lending and economic growth. The Bankers’ New Clothes examines this claim and the narratives used by bankers, politicians, and regulators to rationalize the lack of reform, exposing them as invalid. Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig argue that we can have a safer and healthier banking system without sacrificing any of its benefits, and at essentially no cost to society. They seek to engage the broader public in the debate by cutting through the jargon of banking, clearing the fog of confusion, and presenting the issues in simple and accessible terms.


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4.0 étoiles sur 5
4.0 étoiles sur 5
Commentaires client les plus utiles
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Bankers' motivation leads to economic crises 16 juin 2013
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
The two authors "prove" that one of main causes of economic crises is the motivation of the bankers. It is not their intention. They are "blind" to the disconnect between their actions and their intentions leading to regular crisis with high levels of unemployment and large-scale reduction of prosperity.

The reason why this is so is very simple once you understand it. You have to read the book carefully because banking lobbyists make an enormous effort to complicate and confuse the issues. The authors explain in minute detail how they have arrived at their conclusions. One author is an American professor from Stanford University and the other the German director of a Max Planck Institute. Both are world level experts on this issue.

The simple answer is that Bankers try to keep the shareholder equity (cash paid by investors when the company sold shares and retained earnings, profits that were not paid out as dividends) as low as they can by preventing a regulation that would impose a thirty percent ratio between equity and total assets (the "capital ratio"). You need to understand what exactly are "real" assets and "real" equity, which is different in this book from the way bankers refer to these words. Understanding this difference is essential for understanding the message of this book.

Why are bankers motivated to minimize shareholder equity? They aim to maximize Return on Equity (ROE). This is the ratio between profit and equity. It is obvious that with the same profit and a lower equity the ROE increases. According to the authors, the total income of the senior bankers is in most banks based, to a large extent, on this ROE.
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good 20 octobre 2014
Format:Relié
Great book but à bit expensive. Really clear If you are not familiar with the finance world. The ideas are well explained
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Livre pour étudiant 7 décembre 2013
Par Besson
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Mon fils en avait besoin pour ces études il l'a commandé sur votre site ,c'est pratique et il est content de l'avoir eu
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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  77 commentaires
61 internautes sur 67 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Compelling approach to ending too big to fail, improve financial stability 16 février 2013
Par Contrarian - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Excellent book written for a general audience explaining why big, highly leveraged banks are bad for the economy. Then they assert that requiring banks to raise more capital by issuing stock and less through borrowing will be extremely beneficial for the financial system.

This seems too simple to be true and the most helpful negative review has called it "overly simple". I strongly disagree. I think it is just simple enough. Simple is good. Complicated rules, such as the Volcker Rule, will be gamed, evaded and lobbied to irrelevance. The presentation in the book is somewhat oversimplified but there are lots of footnotes that go into greater depth and elaborate the point plus references that support them.

Why hasn't such simple logic been followed already? The authors describe how bankers benefit from the current system of extremely high leverage and from the implicit promise of taxpayer bailouts. They also argue that their proposal -- which they have been making academically and to regulators and politicians for a few years -- has been opposed by entrenched banking interest. Also, the general public doesn't understand these issues or of banking in general. They argue that this in part because bankers promote confusion. This book is written to combat that. "We want to encourage people to form and to trust their opinions, to ask questions, to express doubts, and to challenge the flawed arguments that pervade the policy debate. If we are to have a healthier financial system, more people must understand the issues and influence policy."

I think they do a great job of explaining the problem in very clear and understandable terms to people with no prior knowledge without oversimplifying. For readers who want to delve more deeply, they have excellent footnotes and references. I am involved in the field and find the references and excellent compendium of sources, some of which I already knew but some which I am very glad they have pointed me to.

Their central premise is that a simple measure -- requiring banks to raise more funds as equity capital -- issuing stock instead of borrowing -- would greatly improve the stability of the banking system. They also address the "bugbear" that doing so would reduce economic growth. Essentially, we can have our cake and eat it too.

In their words "if banks have much more equity, the financial system will be safer, healthier, and less distorted. From the society's perspective, the benefits are large and the costs are hsrd to find: there are virtually no tradeoffs."

The message is quite strong and they seem quite alarmed about the current state of affairs "Today's banking system, even with the proposed reforms, is as dangerous and fragile as the system that brought us the recent financial crisis." But their writing is quite dry and matter-of-fact. I think they do a wonderful job of explaining the essence of banking and the problems leverage creates to people without a lot of financial knowledge.

I found their message to be quite persuasive and compelling.

Addendum: Many of claims in negative reviews are refuted by the authors in this (fairly short) document.
http://bankersnewclothes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/parade-continues-June-3.pdf
30 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Focusing the Debate on What Matters 27 février 2013
Par PCB - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Financial regulation generally and bank regulation specifically can seem maddeningly complex. There is a specialized vocabulary. The economic concepts can seem far removed from the decision-making experiences of everyday people. The pace of innovation can be staggering. And the very variety of private institutions and public regulators--the proverbial alphabet soup of Washington in the form of the OCC, FDIC, SEC, CFTC, CFPB, the Federal Reserve, and others--can leave questions of what must be done to whom and by whom ostensibly unresolvable.

In the face of such complexity, the banks have a relatively simple solution: Trust Us. We are the experts. It is our business, and our self-interest, to master this complexity in such a way that maximizes both private and social benefits. And, after Dodd-Frank and Basel III, we can now promise that we will keep our failures in house and not impose the dramatic costs of financial crisis on you, the general public, again.

Admati and Hellwig, with lucid prose and a comprehensible agenda, slice through the opacity to present a clear challenge: the problems banks and, by extension, the general public face are not as complicated as they seem, and the "Trust Us" solution is naive and dangerous. The authors engage a number of issues central to the crisis in bank regulation--the politics, the international context, shadow banking, regulatory failure, and bank governance. And while no single policy proposal can resolve every problem that might arise in the financial sector forever, there are threshold issues that must be addressed first. In Admati and Hellwig's able diagnosis and prognosis, a major cause of the severity of the financial crisis and the path to sustainable growth and sound banking are simple: excessive debt is the problem; increased equity is the solution.

It's hard to overstate the contribution that Admati and Hellwig have made in this book. Depending on your perspective, the authors have done one of two things to the narratives banks use to justify their extraordinary reliance on debt. The authors have either debunked these narratives so thoroughly and irrefutably that the narratives are exposed as having no basis whatsoever in theory or practice. Or they have decisively shifted the burden to the banks and their representatives in the private and public sector to explain what Admati & Hellwig have missed. The early signs point toward the first conclusion: the few challenges to the book so far only repeat the same claims that Admati & Hellwig have so thoroughly debunked.

This is a book for all political stripes, backgrounds, and prior assumptions about the way banks and the financial system writ large operate. It will set the tone for every serious conversation about bank capital structures the world over.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Capital is the Key! 4 mars 2013
Par Steve Patrick - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Great description of how the banking business works and, in times of crisis, doesn't work. The authors' prescription is deceptively simple: require more capital. They also note that regulation is too focused on a bank's assets (its loans) rather than its liabilities.

The authors do a great job of covering the topics they choose to address. The book's primary shortcoming is that it ignores a few critical issues. For example, financial theory holds that a firm's capital structure does not impact its weighted average cost of capital. Hence, shifting banks leverage from 97% debt and 3% equity to something more reasonable (80:20?) would not make loans to main street more expensive. That is true in a world without taxes. Unfortunately, banks compete in a world where they pay taxes but "shadow banks" do not. Higher capital ratios mean higher taxes and, hence, a greater incentive to move bank-like activities into things like money market mutual funds that are not taxed.

A simple solution like "more capital" can only work on a level playing field where all asset managers are treated equally.
17 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Banking Industry Still in Need of Tighter Regulations to Make It More Self-Sustainable 10 mars 2013
Par Serge J. Van Steenkiste - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig clearly demonstrate that the lack of decisive reforms in the banking industry in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007-2009 will end up badly again for the U.S. and world economy.

Ms. Admati and Mr. Hellwig bluntly challenge the invalid reasons behind which bankers, politicians, and regulators hidden themselves to justify the absence of a more thorough reform of this essential industry. The authors rightly focus the core of their argumentation on the necessity to increase bank equity (called capital in the banking industry) to 20 percent to 30 percent of banks' total assets from the 3 percent lower limit for equity as a fraction of total assets as permitted in the recent Basel III agreement on capital regulation.

This significant increase in bank equity has several benefits:
1) Better capitalized banks will have a lower probability of falling into financial distress or becoming insolvent as a result of recognizing losses immediately on their non-performing loans.
2) Less leveraged banks will be more inclined not to take excessive risks in lending and not to stop lending during a sharp economic downturn.
3) Better bank capitalization will reduce the sizes and distortive effects of guarantees and subsidies that make it possible to allow debt to fund up to 97 percent of bank assets.
4) Higher equity requirements could push the largest banks to break up without being forced to do so by law or regulation under the pressure of their shareholders asking for compensation reflective of the risks assumed.

Ms. Admati and Mr. Hellwig recommend that banks reduce the dividends that they pay to their shareholders and / or raise fresh capital in the capital markets to fund this sharp increase in bank equity. Furthermore, banks can temporarily reduce the bonuses granted to their staff to help fund this increase in bank equity. In addition, the authors advocate for a change in the tax treatment of interest paid on debt to make capital funding through equity more attractive than it currently is.

The authors convincingly refute the claim that sharply increasing bank equity will undermine economic growth. Higher financial stability prior to 2007 would not have given rise to the sharp decline in output in 2009 and the resulting loss of output valued in the trillions of dollars. Furthermore, a better capitalized banking industry would not have resulted in the anemic economic recovery that the U.S. has had to endure since 2009.

In summary, Ms. Admati and Mr. Hellwig systematically reduce to rubble the convenient rationalizations that bankers, politicians, and regulators use to justify the unfinished business of reforming the banking industry thoroughly.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 An important book that debunks the arguments of the banking lobby 21 mai 2014
Par Ryan Donovan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I really liked The Banker's New Clothes and can recommend it to everyone who is interested in banking and the financial crisis. In fact, every politically interested reader should give this book a chance. You will understand why most arguments of the banking lobby are flawed and/or misleading.

Admati and Hellwig have done an excellent job in writing very clearly why banks are so opposed against higher capital requirements, and what dirty intellectual tricks they use in the discussion. They also convincingly demonstrate why we should not listen to them. Their conclusion to drastically raise capital requirements is, however, not beyond any doubt (see below)

The strength of the book is its clarity. The authors succeed to esablish a solid main argumentation that is intuitive and convincing. They placed the more technical aspects and supporting references in footnotes. This is a very valuable contribution as it allows non-banking experts to better understand the sometimes very technical discussion between regulators, bankers and politicians. Nowadays, where our scientific elite does not interact much with the broader public, such a book written for the broader public from one of the top-notch experts in the field is a rare event

For people who want to dive further into this topic, their book is nonetheless a gold mine for interesting sources on banking and financial crisis. It can serve as a good startig point to dive into the deep and rich research on banking crisis and banking regulation.

Notwithstanding this positive assessment, there are some weaknesses in the argumentation line. First, their main focus is solvency and leverage, but they strongly reject the idea that liquidity played an important role in the financial crisis. I think this is too simplistic; I am convinced that liquidity played a big role in the crisis, not only solvency and leverage.

Second, they have not convinced me that very high capital requirements will not just lead to more shadow banking. I view this as probably the only intellectually sound argument against higher capital requirements, and they have not offered convincing arguments to debunk this one.
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