October 28, 2009

Is there no cost in avoiding bubbles?

Sir though I agree with much of Martin Wolf’s “How mistaken ideas helped to bring the economy down” October 28, I have serious difficulties on understanding how one should be implementing the bubble-busting. Are the regulators now going to appoint bubble-measurers? Are we going to have these assets bubble-meters being showed off in Times Square?

Much the same way it sounded so utterly reasonable to have the credit rating agencies influence how much equity banks should have, and look where it led us, this reasoning assumes that a bubble is a bubble and that there are no risks derived from pre-announcing that a bubble will not happen. And what if the prime motor of development is the belief in the possibilities of the next bubble? If we eliminate ex-ante the possibility of a bubble will some then just stay in bed while other countries with no qualms about crisis go forward?

If there is something truly lacking in the current discussion on regulatory reform is the appreciation of the good things that come with risk-taking and now, the good things that come from bubbles.

Me, I would love the world to keep on taking risks- and blowing bubbles even at the cost of suffering huge setbacks as long as that takes us forward. Because of this, more than worrying about where the next precipice might be, I would try to make much more certain we are heading in the right direction. Others, on the contrary, seem to be satisfied with what they have achieved and settle for keeping it.