May 22, 2009

Go City of London go!

Sir what caused this crisis, as I have so repeatedly written to you about over the years, were the regulators in Basel executing the mother of all interferences in the risk allocation process of the markets. Not only did they appoint the credit rating agencies as Thee Official Risk Surveyors but they also empowered them by concocting minimum capital requirements for banks that covered an incredible range from 8.3 to 1 to 62.5 to 1 with all of it depending on the ratings.

In this respect when Martin Wolf in “Why Britain has to curb finance” May 22, refers to UK regulators having “an influence on the world economy out of proportion to the country’s size” he is either too parochial or he still completely misunderstands what has happened. Also a sheer reference to a “light touch” in the context of financial regulations would be almost laughable if not for the sad and serious consequences of the very heavy handed and truly relevant regulations that from Basel hit the world, London included.

Frankly the UK cannot afford to curb anything, less it wants to be left out completely. And the Financial Times should be the first to know that. Go City of London go!