August 03, 2009

The Central Banks’ independency has to be balanced with more criticism.

Sir in your sermon “The value of bank independence” August 3, you mention that “the era of economic theocracy, in which unelected experts ran the global economy is over”. Over? Where, how and when? The fact the central banks have taken a less prominent role while the fiscal spenders are doing their juggling act do not make them less independent. In fact, if anyone at this moment would have to take a bet on the central banks losing their independence or continuing to be the mutual admiration club their independence have turned them into I would advice to bet on the latter.

Also though you quite correctly opine that “risks are greater when a regulator plays God, deciding which banks should live in a crisis” why did you never say a word when the regulators also played God and with their minimum capital requirements for the banks arbitrarily decided to sort of call it quits by subsidizing risk adverseness and taxing risk-taking?

Finally you keep being stubborn and wrong insisting on the role of “too low interests” in the credit bubble. Have you any idea at what rates these subprime mortgages that defaulted were contracted at? Is it so hard to see that the problem was how these lousily awarded mortgages morphed into no-risk AAA instrument to be discounted at so much lower interest rates?

Of course the world needs independent central bankers but more than that it needs independent minds and, of course, a more critical financial press much less prone to suck up to the independent authorities.