January 28, 2015

What would make a Negro slave on a cotton plantation in 1800 America, not feel being discriminated against?

Sir, I refer to Luke Johnson’s valedictory essay for the FT “A farewell after eight years championing founders” January 28.

The following Johnson writes is extraordinary: “I believe independent ownership of business assets is incredibly important if we want a vibrant economy. Founders possess animal spirits and optimism that contribute disproportionately to innovation, job creation and tax generation. They are the essential ingredient for a more prosperous society, together with the rule of law and sound property rights. These inventors, mavericks and would-be tycoons exist to take risks most of us seek to avoid in our careers.

Start-ups renew industry and society, and pioneer and implement new technology that established institutions shun, because it would upset their cosy oligopolies. Crony capitalists — whose annual conference was held last week in Davos — are not entrepreneurs, but corporate managers who hate free markets and the idea of proper competition, while squandering most of their time on office politics and games of patronage.”

How extremely sad then that Luke Johnson completely missed out on how bank regulators, with Basel I favoring the “infallible sovereigns”, and with Basel II favoring the AAArisktocracy… impeded the fair access to bank credit of his “risky” risk-taking entrepreneurs.

What is it that makes those who should most see a distortion and discrimination in order to fight it, not seeing it?