May 18, 2018

Bank regulators have clearly violated that holy social intergenerational contract Edmund Burke wrote about.

Sir, Marin Wolf writing that while “UK has messed up policy in five significant respects: growth; ageing; risk-sharing; housing; and redistribution.” argues that the focus on intergenerational equity is not helpful” “The focus on intergenerational inequity is a delusion” May 18.

In that I do not agree.

For the umpteenth time: The risk weighted capital requirements for banks, that which allow banks to leverage more and thereby earn higher expected risk adjusted returns on equity when financing what’s perceives as safe, like the present economy, houses and sovereigns; over what’s perceived as risky, like the riskier future and the entrepreneurs, is a direct violation of that very core of minimum intergenerational equity that should guide our actions.

And not only will our young pay dearly for it. Those young currently living in the basements of their parents houses will one day shout out: “Now its our turn to live upstairs, you move down to the basement!” And way too many of those elder who possess assets, like houses and shares will, when they really need, find it very hard to convert these into the main-street purchase capacity they hoped for.

I pray it will not come to that, but it is useful for everyone to look at Venezuela where their young are now all fleeing to find better opportunities abroad, while most of the elder are stuck in a society that is rotting. And from boom to bust can happen so fast.