Sunday, August 11, 2013

Poor rich Oprah Winfrey should get herself a buyer-power-rating, issued by one of few big agencies.

Sir, I refer to James Shotter´s “Swiss image suffers after asylum row and Winfrey furore” August 10.

Poor rich Oprah Winfrey considers herself discriminated against because of how a certainly much poorer sales assistant in an upmarket Zürich boutique, dared to express the opinion that a ludicrous expensive handbag was too expensive, instead of perhaps increasing its price 50 percent as any much more able vendor would have done.

Frankly, this whole affair is so incredibly petty when I compare it to that other official discrimination which also originates in Switzerland, through the Basel Committee. That one establishes that even though “The Infallible” borrowers are already much favored in the markets, and “The Risky” much disfavored, that banks are allowed to hold much less capital when lending to the former, and thereby earn a much higher expected risk-adjusted return on its equity, than when lending to the latter.

I guess that if these bank regulators were asked, they would suggest that Oprah Winfrey equips herself with an AAA buyer power rating, issued by one of few formidable buyer-power-rating agencies.

Of course, the instinct of any normal ludicrous expensive handbags store owner, upon seeing an AAA buying-power-rating, would be to increase the listed price of the handbag, but I am sure that our Basel Committee regulators could also come up with a way of favoring these ultra rich buyers, and thereby discriminate against those who, immensely poorer, just want to feel like an Oprah Winter holding that completely unaffordable handbag in their hands for some seconds.

It is truly amazing how much we can hear about any discrimination based on color or other factor, when compared how little the officially sanctioned discrimination based on perceived risks are not even debated. Could it be because we are ashamed of having to admit to ourselves that we have changed from being risk-taking into risk-adverse nations? 

In the name of my constituency, my granddaughter, I protest though: “Damn you BaselCommittee… for having castrated our banks

The correct blog for this post is here