May 06, 2014

Martin Wolf, again, our banks are not supposed to be the cautious rentiers our too risk-adverse regulators want them to be

Sir, Martin Wolf, with quite a show of contempt for our traditional savers who have done nothing wrong writes: “cautious rentiers no longer serve a useful economic purpose. What is needed instead are genuinely risk-taking investors.” “Wipe out rentiers with cheap money”, May 6.

It is clear that Wolf keeps wearing those same blinders that have kept him from understanding (or wanting to understand) how capital requirements for banks based on perceived creditor risk, not only distort the allocation of credit to the real economy, but also turn our banks into a new class of cautious rentiers.

Therefore, when he writes “to many, it seems sensible to postpone investment until the world is more predictable”, and cries out for some risk-taking investors, he fails to understand this represents precisely the moment when we most need our “risky” risk-takers, like the medium and small businesses, the entrepreneurs and start-ups, to get going; and similarly fails to understand how these risk-takers are currently being so perversely locked out from access to bank credit… by the regulators!

How can we take of those blinders from Martin Wolf? Sir, I have tried it umpteenths of times, to such an extent he has expressed not wanting to hear one word about it more from me. Could you be of any assistance?

PS. Sir, as I just told you, I am not copying Martin Wolf with this. If you want to do so it’s your decision and your risk :-)