February 12, 2017
Sir, Tim Harford writes that when “I think I’m doing a good job, and then you tell me that I’m not… [research indicates] “that when this, which in the jargon is known as disconfirmatory feedback arrived, workers would then avoid contact with the people who had given them the unwelcome comments.” “If I’m cruising along in a complacent bubble, I badly need someone to explain what I’m doing wrong” January 11.
Bank regulators think they are doing great assigning a risk weight of 20% for what is AAA rated, and 150% for what is below BB-. I tell them they’re wrong, that what’s perceived as safe, contains much more danger than what is perceived as risky. I back it up with Voltaire’s “May God defend me from my friends, I can defend myself from my enemies” … and then the regulators avoid all contact with me. It sure looks like a case of reaction to a disconfirmatory feedback.
But, at a level of a Basel Committee for Banking Supervision should its members not have to be able to handle rationally any disconfirmatory feedback? And what about those even higher up?
For instance, I believe that in the race for jobs in the US, much more important than human competition from China and Mexico, is the fact that Americans have to compete with robots from everywhere that do not have to carry weights like payroll taxes.
Sir, I ask, how can I convey such a belief to a President without risking causing him great disconfirmatory feedback discomfort?
PS. Sir FT, since you have also mostly shut me up, could it be because I have gone over the level of disconfirmatory feedback you can handle? If so, how should we handle it? I ask because I have no wish to give up writing you my mind on so many things you might not agree with.