31 Jul 2009

Stolen Goods and Northern Rock

When a City Commentator states that the tripartite system of regulation in the UK 'undoubtedly contributed to the collapse of Northern Rock' (Daily Telegraph, 31 July 2009)one has to wonder why a 'powerful' committee of MPs wants to grant more powers to a failed regulator such as the FSA. All bureaucracies have an inbuilt incentive to increase their powers. Some people just want to boss around other people while other people want to enjoy harvesting the fruit of labor performed by others. Politicians and regulators combine these bad character traits in a toxic mix that pervades all their actions. As Richard Fletcher suggests in his comment 'allowing the FSA free rein to expand...could also endanger London's position as one of the leading financial capitals in the world'.

1 Jul 2009

Fantasy World of Eurocrats

We challenge anyone to get a clear answer from Neelie Kroes with respect to the rules that are applied when she and her lightweight team decree what Banks and Governments are expected to do in order to conform to their whimsical ideas of a competitive banking market. Anyone can see that her department employs two drivers for the occasional excursion into Euroland. This is a nice human touch as it shows that all staff are equal but the sad thing is that most of the other staff look like fresh out from university and utterly unqualified to decide the fate of Europe's banks (and economies). In what fantasy world do these Eurocrats live when they think that major banks can shrink dramatically while the economies are still on the tipping point to a prolonged recession? Try to get a curriculum vitae for all the staff listed on Kroes' website if you can. We did not have much luck doing just that.