October 01, 2015

You want faster growth? You want more widely shared growth? Then get rid of current bank regulators.

Sir, Martin Wolf writes: “This is the time to develop ideas on how to achieve the party’s priorities of faster, more widely shared growth” “Two cheers for Corbyn’s challenges to economic convention” October 2.

You want faster growth? Then take away the odious regulatory discriminations against the risky and let the SMEs and entrepreneurs, the tough we need to get going when the going gets tough, have fair access to bank credit.

I quote from John Kenneth Galbraith’s “Money: Whence it came where it went” 1975.

“For the new parts of the country [USA’s West]… there was the right to create banks at will and therewith the notes and deposits that resulted from their loans…[if] the bank failed…someone was left holding the worthless notes… but some borrowers from this bank were now in business...[jobs created]

It was an arrangement which reputable bankers and merchants in the East viewed with extreme distaste… Men of economic wisdom, then as later expressing the views of the reputable business community, spoke of the anarchy of unstable banking… The men of wisdom missed the point. The anarchy served the frontier far better than a more orderly system that kept a tight hand on credit would have done…. what is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectfully affluent.

You want more widely shared growth? Then take away the odious regulatory discriminations that stops banks from giving the risky SMEs and entrepreneurs the opportunity to fair access to bank credit they deserve.

I quote again from John Kenneth Galbraith’s “Money: Whence it came where it went” 1975.

“The function of credit in a simple society is, in fact, remarkably egalitarian. It allows the man with energy and no money to participate in the economy more or less on a par with the man who has capital of his own. And the more casual the conditions under which credit is granted and hence the more impecunious those accommodated, the more egalitarian credit is… Bad banks, unlike good, loaned to the poor risk, which is another name for the poor man.”

But the sad fact is that no new or old Labor, or anyone, would be able to get that advise from a brains trust of seven left-of-centre economic advisers who have never been out on Main-Street, who hate government austerity, but who love bank credit austerity.

Our formal banks have been embraced by a loony regulatory risk aversion that wants to clear, in the capital of banks, the perceived credit risk already cleared for by banks with risk premiums and size of exposures. Or we free them for that or the interests of economic growth, job creation and equality might be best served by unregulated banks operating in the shadows… a la Banca Sommersa style.