January 18, 2017

Would Hollywood allow those responsible for a 2007/08-crisis box-office-flop to walk down a Davos red carpet?

Sir, Chris Giles writes: “Almost all countries are failing to improve growth rates” … Responsive leadership — [is] the theme of this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos” “Economies need to heed wrath of the ‘left behind’” January 17.

And Giles also quotes 1994’s Paul Krugman with…“Productivity growth isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything”

Sir, how can you not leave too many behind, and make it harder for productivity to grow, when regulators give banks incentives to refinance the safer past and present economies, but not to take risks on the “riskier” future.

Their 20% risk weighting for AAA rated and sovereigns like Greece, while handing SMEs a 100% weight handicap, caused the crisis, and has hindered a better recovery.

Neither Hollywood nor Bollywood, would ever have allowed the script writers, producers, actors or directors, responsible for such an box office-flop as the 2007-08 crisis, to walk down the red carpet. Why can those in Davos do so? The answer is that those besserwisser experts are self-appointed, and therefore not subject to be vetted by a box-office… and so now populists looking for votes are vetting them.

PS. I hear there is some confusion going on in the Basel Committee. Some members are nervously starting to ask each other: “Could it really be that what’s perceived safe is riskier for banks than what’s perceived risky?”