October 20, 2016
Sir, Ed Crook, with respect to Mark Carney, the governor of BoE and the chair of FSB arguing last year that regulators need to address climate change promptly, quotes Daniel Yergin with: “It was puzzling that a central bank would choose to identify investment in this sector as a major systemic risk to the global financial system, when there are so many other more obvious and immediate risks” “Energy expert dismisses warnings of carbon bubble” October 20.
On occasions I myself have proposed slightly less capital requirements for banks based on environmental sustainability and job creation ratings, so that banks earn a little higher risk adjusted returns on lending when they are doing what many of us consider as social good. But I have always done that with much trepidation; as it clearly requires a lot of hubris to think you could intervene so without causing any unexpected negative consequences.
But the Basel Committee and FSB regulators suffer no such inhibitions. They have gladly gone ahead with imposing credit risk weighted capital requirements, all without the slightest consideration to how that could (and is) dangerously distort (for no purpose) the allocation of credit to the real economy.
In my homeland (Venezuela) we often refer to those who have been awarded power (or have given themselves powers) in order to engage in dangerous activities, as being monkeys with razorblades. That description applies perfectly well to regulators who are not eve aware of that their actions might in itself constitute the largest systemic risk for the financial system (and for the economy)