September 11, 2014

Are those who lend to a morally bankrupt government not just as morally bankrupt themselves

Sir, FastFT reports “Venezuela bonds yields are shooting higher” September 11.

It refers to a recent article by Ricardo Haussman’s and Miguel Angel Santos’ that said: “The fact that [the government] has chosen to default on 30 m Venezuelans, rather than on Wall Street, is not a sign of its moral rectitude. It is a signal of moral bankruptcy”.

And FastFT states “Investors are clearly little concerned”… something which is quite ok with me.

Most investors in Venezuelan debt, perhaps all, have for a very long time been perfectly aware that things in Venezuela were not as they should be, but they have decided to look away, because of the high risk premiums offered. And so as I see it, they are just as moral bankrupt.

And I repeat questions I have often made: Would it be right to buy bonds to finance the building of concentration camps... if the price, the risk premium, is right? Where do you draw the line on what is morally admissive lending? Where do you draw the line on what kind of intermediation fine reputable investment banks can do before they become morally repulsive?

The way I see it, the world, at least us citizens, need good governance ratings and ethic-ratings, much more than what it needs credit ratings