February 11, 2017
Sir, Gillian Tett writes on the issue of “how bad humans are at assessing risk”, and refers to that “academics Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky have highlighted all manner of biases in our brains that undermine our capacity to make rational decisions.” “Fear of cultural ‘pollutants’ can be allayed with acceptance”, February 11.
As an example, Tett mentions that in the US “the data suggest that the chance of dying in a terrorist attack by a refugee, of any religion, was just one in 3.64bn in any given year. That is far lower than the risk of being struck by lightning”. Yet Tett writes, there is “irrational” fear of immigrants.
Ms. Tett, should perhaps do well showing more humility because, like all of us, she is just as bound to be afflicted by exactly the same human weakness.
There is no data that would indicate that any major bank crisis was caused by excessive bank exposures to something perceived as risky when placed on balance sheets; and all data points that the real dangers lies with what is perceived as very safe, yet Ms Tett, her colleagues, and most of the bank regulation community see nothing strange with risk weights of 20% for what is AA to AA rated and 150% for the below BB-.
Ms Tett writes “There is little point in countering people’s “irrational” fear of immigrants by throwing statistics about or dismissing Trump’s supporters as “racist”.
Sir, I am of course not talking about racism, but should I not insist, as I do, day after day, with thousands of letters, in trying to illuminate those that who by favoring the dangerous safe, actually discriminate against the access to bank credit of the innocuous risky?
Over the last decade, around the world, millions of SMEs and entrepreneurs have seen their begging for an opportunity denied by sheer financial regulatory bigotry. And Sir, you are well aware that FT shamefully keeps mum on it.