May 31, 2013

Authorities must learn to contain their desires to help and to meddle

Sir, Sir Samuel Brittan writes “How we can reconcile this general wisdom [that we do not know enough] with the desirability of giving individual officials definite objectives is an unsolved problem”, “Modern economics for the diligent seeker of truth”, May 31.

Precisely, it is an unsolvable problem, and that is why we need our authorities to contain themselves designating individual officers to do anything not really knowing what they are doing, no matter how much they all desire it.

Just look at what happened when the authorities designated the Basel Committee to eliminate bank crisis and those thereto nominated, not knowing what they were doing, set up a system of capital requirements for banks which guaranteed that next time when a bank crisis resulted, because of excessive exposures to what was perceived as “absolutely safe”, the origin of all bank crisis, we would find all the banks standing there naked or with very little capital to cover themselves up with.