April 13, 2011

Ireland’s taxpayers?... and what about holding the Basel Committee accountable?

Lorenzo Bini Smaghi argues that since countries like Ireland took decisions aimed at ensuring a more benign environment for their financial sectors, and thereby had representation, “Ireland’s taxpayers must take their share of the pain” April 13.

What on earth is he talking about? This crisis resulted 99 percent because the Basel Committee diluted the basic capital requirements for banks by arbitrarily establishing some minimalistic risk-weights based on the information provided by the credit rating agencies, even though this information had already been cleared for in the market, when setting the risk-premiums. What representation did Ireland and Irish taxpayers have in such a foolish decision of a global rule setting body?

Mr Bini talks also about “accountability” and I just have to ask him where there is any sign of the Basel Committee being held accountable. From what we see, after failing so utterly with Basel II, they are now happily proceeding to dig us even deeper into the ground with Basel III as if nothing happened with their principal regulatory paradigm.