May 15, 2013

Again, we would do better with capital requirements for banks based on sustainability of earth and job creation ratings

Sir, I often wonder about how strange it is that those who most present themselves as being very concerned with the health of our planet, and should therefore one would presume be the ones most concerned with making sure that scarce financial resources are used as effectively as possible to save the earth, then end up being the most willing to just throw money at the problem.

I say this because Martin Wolf in “Why the world faces climate chaos”, May 15, argues that “If we are to take a prudential view of public finances we should surely take a prudential view [on saving for humanity] the only home it is likely to have”. As I see it those two prudential views go hand in hand, as we do need a prudential view on public finances in order to assure having some resources for all the prevention, adaptation and mitigation which will be required.

Two fundamental problems the world faces everywhere now, is the deteriorating environment of the earth and the lack of jobs for our youth. And in this respect for almost a decade now I have been arguing the following:

If we have capital requirements for banks which clear for the information provided by credit ratings, even though that information has already been cleared for elsewhere, and thereby only produces dangerous distortions, why then do we not have instead capital requirements for banks that are based on sustainability of earth and job creation ratings?

The above would allow banks to play a significant role in solving both problems, without us having to leave the financing of environmental or job creation projects in the hands of government bureaucrats or short terms political interests. Unfortunately there are some who prefers the government to solve it all… seemingly that is on their agenda.

PS. Sir, just to let you know, I am not copying Martin Wolf with this, as he has told me not to send him anything more about these “capital requirements”… he already knows it all, at least so he thinks.