November 29, 2014

Gauging the level of understanding of Fed statements assumes, kindly, Fed understands what it writes. Does it?

Sir, Tracy Alloway tackles the issue of “Why Fed statements have become literally harder to read” November 29, which generously assumes that the Fed understands what it writes. Can we be so sure of that?

One of the most important documents of our time is the Explanatory Note on the Basel II IRB Risk-Weight Functions issued by the Basel Committee; as with it the regulators try to explain what they are betting all of our banking system on. And, that document is such a mumbo jumbo, that the only thing I can conclude is that none of the experts and not-experts who read it understood one iota of it, and therefore did not dare to question it.

And so seemingly the rule is that the more complicated a document is, the less the chances it will be questioned. And the add-on to that would be, the more expert an expert think he is, the less likely he will confess not understanding something.

Therefore friends, given that FOMC statements currently “require reading grade levels of 18 to 19 to understand” hold on to your hats, someone might want to hide something, and we might soon be in to suffer the Chinese curse, I refer of course to that of “May you live in interesting times!”

Basel Committee and Financial Stability Board: “Beware, beware, walk with care, care for what you do, or Mumbo-Jumbo is going to hoo-doo you, or Mumbo-Jumbo is going to hoo-doo you, boom le boom le boom le boom!”… and hoo-doo our banks, and hoo-doo usPlease, we are NOT expendable!