January 15, 2014

FT and Martin Wolf are also part of the failing elites who threaten our future.

Sir, Martin Wolf writes “the economic, financial, intellectual and political elites…lulled by fantasies of self-stabilizing financial markets…failed to appreciate the incentives at work and, above all, the risks of a systemic breakdown”, “Failing elites threaten our future” January 15.

That is wrong! That is the Greenspan version. The truth is that regulators interfered with the financial markets by imposing risk-weighted capital requirements for banks based on perceived risk of expected losses, those risks which were already being cleared for by bankers, and not based on the risks of unexpected losses.

Wolf is absolutely right though when he writes that the “divorce between accountability and power strikes at the heart of any notion of democratic government”. A proof of that is how those responsible for the failed Basel II went on to work on Basel III, without missing a beat, without really having to explain themselves, and without changing the basic manuscript. Frankly a self-stabilizing movie industry, would never ever dream of following up a box-office flop like Basel II in that way.

But you Sir, and Martin Wolf, have for many years stubbornly ignored my arguments about the huge mistake, which considering twice same perceived risks represents. And so, when now Wolf writes “If elites continue to fail...The elites need to do better”, may I just remind you that, in my book at least, you and him are part of that elite who are dangerously silencing the mistakes of some favored elites.

PS. Sir, just to let you know, I am not copying Martin Wolf with this, as he has asked me not to send him any more comments related to the capital requirements for banks, as he understands it all… at least so he thinks.