June 26, 2015

When the young get hold of what bank regulators are doing to their future, they will revolt… Ättestupa?

Sir, Ferdinando Giugliano writes about an “unholy alliance in support of the elderly” that expresses itself in “sparing pensioners and older workers from the cuts their governments need to make as they seek to reduce their budget deficits.” “Left and right across the bloc unite to protect pensioners” June 26.

He states: “many pension systems will pose a rising burden on government spending. But since the age of the median voter will also rise, it will become more tempting to penalise younger workers — for example by raising taxes and social security contributions — rather than cut pension benefits…reducing the incentive to work and, as a result, lowering growth. This would undermine the stability of the very pension systems they vow to protect.”

That is correct, but it is even worse than that. In essence, by means of the credit-risk weighted capital requirements for banks, regulators have imposed on banks investment/lending criteria much more appropriate for pensioners with few years life expectancies, than for the young who need much more risk-taking in order to have a chance to obtain jobs and be able to enjoy reasonably good retirements.

It is all so unsustainable. There is no way that when the young finally understand the hurt that is being done to them, that they will not revolt… and then perhaps suggest to us the reinstatement of “Ättestupa