February 26, 2013

The creation by undemocratic powers of an AAAristocracy, is making the Western World fail

Sir, Gideon Rachman quotes Professors Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson in their book Why Nations Fail, writing that countries “such as Great Britain and the United States became rich because their citizens overthrew the elites who controlled power and created a society where political rights were more broadly distributed”, “Italy´s vote, America´s cuts and why nations fail” February 26. And therein he also quotes Professor Ian Morris, a reviewer, summarizing their argument in that “It is freedom that makes the world rich”.

What then if you Sir came to understand what I have been saying over the last decade, namely that some powers were taken over by new global entities which only seem to be accountable to themselves, like the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision, and the Financial Stability Board. And these entities imposed capital requirements on banks which dramatically favor bank lending to “The Infallible”, those already favored by banks and markets, and thereby dramatically discriminate against the access to bank credit of “The Risky”, those already sufficiently discriminated against by markets and bankers precisely on account of that perception. And with that these entities basically imprisoned market freedom.

In Basel II, pounds, dollars or Euros, paid to the bank as net expected margin by an AAA to AA rated client, can be leveraged by the banks 62.5 times to 1, while the same money, if paid for the same concept by an unrated or a not so good rated client, can only be leveraged 12.5 times to 1 by the banks.

Would you Sir call that freedom? Would you Sir call that equal opportunity? I would call that unbelievable dumb regulatory cowardness running amok. Dumb, because it is always some of “The Infallible” who prove not to be infallible which causes bank crises, and never ever “The Risky”.

Yes, there are many reasons why nations fail. "The complacent worship" of utterly failed regulators is one of them, and excessive risk aversion another.