January 23, 2016

Can journalists wash their hands about the (dis)empowering of citizens and of keeping failed elite in power?

Sir, Gillian Tett referring to “how the global elite converged on Davos this week” writes: “The most interesting issue revolves around something the WEF calls the “(dis)empowered citizen”. This arises because the internet makes voters feel more powerful than ever… The bitter irony is that although the internet gives people the impression they have a voice, in most countries power remains firmly with the elite.”, “The big illusion of empowerment for the masses”, January 22.

Tett holds “This creates disappointment and frustration: ordinary people have the illusion they are vocal. But although they use their mobile phones to exercise power over some issues, they cannot easily use them to change important issues such as politics.”

But, do journalists have no role to play in that? Are they not suppose to in many ways represent ordinary people in front of the elites?

For instance I do not call the Financial Times on the mobile phone (except perhaps when I will travel and suspend my subscription for a week or so) but I have sent thousand of letters to FT, including to Ms. Tett on issues like the following:

Four very important central bankers in Europe; ECB’s Mario Draghi and BoE’s Mark Carney, former and current chairs of the Financial Stability Board; BIS’ Jaime Caruana and Sveriges Riksbank Stefan Ingves, former and current chair of the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision, with their approval of risk-weighted capital requirements for banks, believe that ‘highly speculative’ below BB- rated assets are far more dangerous to the bank system than ‘prime’ AAA rated assets.

Since ex ante perceived ‘highly speculative’ below BB- rated assets have never ever set of a major bank crisis, as these have always resulted from excessive exposure to something ex ante deemed as safe but that ex post turned out very risky; that should raise some very serious questions about the risk management capabilities of those four highly empowered technocrats.

But, would Ms. Gillian Tett raise such question when meeting them? I don’t think so but, if she has, and has not reported back on the answers, to me or to you Sir, then she is just much more complicit in the cover up of the elite’s blunders than I thought possible.

@PerKurowski ©