October 08, 2009

Mme Christine Lagarde, the crisis demands we think things over more carefully, from scratch!

Sir who would disagree with Mme Christine Lagarde´s call that “The crisis demands we finish what we started” October 8, that is of course as long as it does not mean finishing us off completely.

Strangely enough, when Mme Lagarde rightly focuses on the issue of cutting unemployment, the first concrete results she points out is “150 tax information exchange agreements have been signed and the number of tax havens has been drastically reduced.” There is nothing wrong with fighting tax evasion but, what it has to do with job creation beats me, unless she is referring solely to the creation of jobs for public servants. The funds hanging around the tax-havens are not sipping cocktails on the beach but creating jobs somewhere.

Also in the same vein no one would disagree with her when she writes “we need to make sure that requiring banks to hold more and better capital does not hinder their ability to lend to individual and companies” but how can she then say in a congratulatory tone that “The Basel II framework for banking capital has now been accepted by all and the heads of states have committed to applying it to the most important financial centres by 2011.”? Is she totally unaware of that the Basel II framework sabotages the risk-taking needed to create jobs? And that many of us consider the Basel II framework as the main explanation for this crisis?

No Mme Christine Lagarde, the crisis, what it really demands, is that we think things over more much more carefully, from scratch and without being stuck in the past.