16 Oct 2012

Lord Turner for BoE?

Head of the Financial Services Authority Lord Turner calls for 'unconventional' economic policies. In particular I note:
The financial crisis of 2008 was "not a bolt from the blue," he said.

"It arose from poor supervision, from bad rules and structures, from dangerous cultures - and the errors were made by regulators, economists, central bankers and public policy makers, as well as bankers themselves."

He said the amount of capital held by banks as a buffer to protect against any potential crisis was a "small fraction of safe levels".
I'm not sure that I agree that good work has been done on this problem, but at least he's mentioning private debt and is talking about the actual problems that we faced. I take this problem to be the removal of regulations put in place after the Great Depression to limit the amount of credit the finance sector could create.

Deregulation is one hallmarks of free market economics. The idea was that the less the government could interfere in the markets the fairer they would be. In reality it has created massive instability and a sustained transfer of wealth from poor to rich - trickle up economics.

By removing the safe-guards put in place after the fiasco and catastrophe of 1929 and the Depression, the free marketeers opened the way for the present crisis. The people who lobbied for this change in policy did benefit, and average wealth increased, but at the expense of lower and middle income earners. We now work more for less, while the rich do less for more.

I'm heartened to see something more realistic being said in public about the economy and the crisis. We have a long way to go however.

Lord Turner hasn't quite advocated a Modern Debt Jubilee, but commentators say he's in favour of helicoptering money, in the sense that he advocates forgiving loans made to the Treasury by the Bank of England. It's debt forgiveness (which we need) but not quite in the right place for my money.

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Keep is seemly & on-topic. Thanks.