February 23, 2012

Do not allow regulators to hide behind “unintended consequences”.

Sir, where do you draw the line between unintended consequences and sheer stupidity? That is the question we should make after reading an article such as “The tough challenges to revive the global economy” written by George Osborne and Jun Azumi, the finance ministers of Britain and Japan, February 23.

Privileging bank lending to what is officially perceived as not risky, by means of extraordinarily low capital requirements, just had to create excessive and dangerous bank exposures to triple-A rated securities and infallible sovereigns. That I repeated over and over again, even while being an Executive Director of the World Bank 2002 -2004. So that should not be allowed to fall into the category of unintended consequences. 

It behooves us to hold regulators very accountable for how they regulate, most especially if they regulate on a global scale. In this respect we must see to that those regulators are not allowed to hide behind “unintended consequences”… or Black Swans for that matter.