May 08, 2017

My Industrial Policy would be to try having the best robots, and the most intelligent artificial intelligence

Sir, I refer to Rana Foroohar’s “Wanted: an industrial policy for America” May 8.

The 2007/08 financial crisis resulted from excessive exposures to what had been perceived, decreed or concocted as safe, those assets which therefore regulators allowed banks to hold against very little capital. Examples: the AAA rated securities backed with mortgages to the subprime sector and loans to sovereigns like Greece.

That should have been more than enough proof that, distorting the allocation of bank credit to the real economy with risk weighted capital requirements for banks, was not the way to go. But they all left it at that. As a consequence, only because they were as “risky” discriminated against by bank regulators, perhaps hundred of thousands SMEs and entrepreneurs have since then gotten their requests for bank credit rejected, or priced much higher. So Foroohar’s referencing an “Obama administration playbook” as especially favorable to job creation, sounds way out of place.

Yes, it is great that any government focuses its interest on job creation, but sometimes it must also give considerable thought to what to do if those jobs are nowhere to be found. That is why some years ago I wrote: “We need worthy and decent unemployments”.

I am against protectionism but, at this particular moment, if it were up to me, I would protect all learning and developing opportunities that could help my grandchildren to have access to the absolutely best robots and absolutely most intelligent artificial intelligence.

That is because if they don’t have it, they will benefit less or, in order to compete, have to work much harder for less than others.

That is because the Chinese curse “May your children live in interesting times”, might soon be upgraded to “May your grandchildren live surrounded by 3rd class robots, and dumb artificial intelligence”. 

PS. Sir, my granddaughters are Canadian so this message is in fact directed more to Mr. Trudeau than to Mr Trump.

PS. Again, please FT you who are so without fear, dare to ask regulators the questions below and dare learn the truth.