From a regulatory point of view, as explained by Dimson and Marsh [1994, 1995], the amount of capital required by a financial institution to ensure an acceptably small probability of failure should depend on the risk associated with the assets detained in its portfolio. Dimson and Marsh  conduct an empirical study on long and short equity trading books of securities firms acting as market makers. They consider different existing regulations: the comprehensive approach, as applied in the United States by the Securities and Exchange Commission; the building‐block approach, as proposed by the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision, and incorporated in the European Community  Capital Adequacy Directive (CAD); and the portfolio approach, which in the U.K. forms part of the rules of the Securities and Futures Authority . All three methods are compared via the position risk requirement (PRR) that determines the amount of capital that financial institutions have to put aside. As shown by the authors in their empirical study, the methods proposed by the international regulators are barely related to the risk of the portfolios! Only for the national U.K. rules, the PRR and the risk of a portfolio show positive correlation.
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