April 14, 2010

But freedom does not require formality and survives even in prisons

Sir Russell Napier holds that “Tower of debt will force a roll back of the free markets” April 14. I do not understand where he gets such an outlandish idea… if anything the markets, whether free or controlled, will topple the growing public tower of debt.

He also says “Commercial bank’s new capital adequacy ratios already require banks to hold higher levels of government debt”. Well no, the already quite old capital “inadequacy ratios”, allow banks to hold higher levels of debt if these debts are without risk and bank capitals are right now under enormous pressure because these public debts are being downgraded.

In fact that public debt has received such an unjustified preferential treatment by the financial regulators was just their pay-back to governments for giving them their independence and leaving them alone in their secluded quarters in Basel.

And so when Napier writes that “Western governments are left with no option but to restrict and corral markets and force capital private sector capital into action is support of public debt markets” what he is describing is not necessarily an exit plan but how we got into the mess to begin with.

Yes governments might be tempted to impose “capital controls”… perhaps like those China has and which allows it to keep an undervalued currency… but, as I see it, that could just lead to accelerate the rate by which the world goes informal, illicit and illegal, in order to survive their respective governments. The more capital controls the more are the havens worth… ask China… whose government does not even dare to spend its own money in China.