August 10, 2013

Could it be that testosterone is not what it used to be?

Sir, Gillian Tett in “Central banking is still a man’s world” August 10, quotes the opinion that if Lehman Brothers had been ‘Lehman Sisters’…there would have been less testosterone fueled risk taking. And she also notes the absence of “sisters” in high post of the public sector.

She is on the wrong track. This crisis was not the result of an excess of testosterone fueled risk taking, but of a silly risk-aversion by bank regulators, who by means of their capital requirements, stimulated the banks to go where it was perceived as absolutely safe, like to the AAA rated securities, and to the “infallible sovereigns”, like Greece, and to avoid like pest what was perceived as “risky”, the small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and start ups.

But, then again, it might also be that testosterone is not what it used to be.