Thursday, December 8, 2016

FSB’s Mark Carney is no one to lecture us on inequality, lack of opportunities and intergenerational divide

Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, in a speech titled “The Spectre of Monetarism” December 5, 2016 said: 

“For both income and wealth, some of the most significant shifts have happened across generations. A typical millennial earned £8,000 less during their twenties than their predecessors. Since 2007, those over 60 have seen their incomes rise at five times the rate of the population as a whole. Moreover, rising real house prices between the mid-1990s and the late 2000s have created a growing disparity between older homeowners and younger renters...  At the same time as these intergenerational divides are emerging, evidence suggests that equality of opportunity in the UK remains disturbingly low, potentially reinforcing cultural and economic divides.”

But Mark Carney is also the current Chairman of G20’s Financial Stability Board and, as such, one of the primarily responsible for current bank regulations… the pillar of which is the risk weighted capital requirements for banks.

That piece of regulation decrees inequality resulting from negating “the risky”, like SMEs and entrepreneurs fair access to bank credit. 

That piece of regulation favors the financing of “safe” basements where jobless kids can stay with their parents over “riskier” ventures that could provide the kids in the future the jobs, so that they had a chance to become responsible parents too.

That piece of regulations is a violation of that holy intergenerational bond Edmund Burke spoke about.

Carney also said: “Higher uncertainty has contributed to what psychologists call an affect heuristic amongst households, businesses and investors. Put simply, long after the original trigger becomes remote, perceptions endure, affecting risk perceptions and economic behaviour. Just like those who lived through the Great Depression, people appear more cautious about the future and more reluctant to take irreversible decisions. That means less willingness to put capital to work and, ultimately, lower growth.”

If any have suffered form “affect heuristic” that is the bank regulators. Mixing up ex ante perceptions with ex post possibilities, these decided on “more risk more capital – less risk less capital”, without: defining the purpose of banks “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for.” John A Shedd; or looking at what has caused bank crises in the past “May God defend me from my friends, I can defend myself from my enemies” Voltaire

Mark Carney also said “For two-and-a-half centuries, the prices of government bonds and the prices of equities tended to move together: the typical bull market entails rising equity prices and falling bond yields, with the reverse in bear markets. Since the mid-2000s, however, this pattern has reversed and bond yields have tended to fall along with equity prices”.

He is not able to connect that to the fact the risk weight given to sovereign debt is 0%, as compared to one of 100% for We the People… and that capital scarce banks therefore shed “riskier” assets in favor of public debt. As statist, Carney also ignores the fact that regulation has subsidized public borrowings, paid of course by negating credit opportunities to SMEs and entrepreneurs.