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One reason modern air travel is reassuringly safe is that investigation into accidents is honest and thorough. The contrast with finance could hardly be greater.
The belief that an aggregate of casual opinions provides a better process of value discovery than a flow of informed judgment through close engagement by investors, is an article of faith rather than a matter of empirical evidence.
There are good reasons for state action in areas of business misconduct. But announcing ad hoc measures against companies in the news is the wrong way.
Much of the complexity of modern finance is the result of regulatory arbitrage – avoiding or minimising restrictions by engaging in a transaction with more or less identical effect but more favourable regulatory treatment. Many regulators still cling to the hope that it could be eliminated if only rules were sufficiently extensive and sufficiently carefully prescribed. But this is an illusion.
Limited competition may actually yield worse results for customers than either full-blooded competition or a cartel. Perhaps that explains the particularly tentative approach of the Competition and Markets Authority.
What does the death rate from violent accident in England over seven centuries tell us about moral hazard in the financial system?
John contrasts Timothy Geithner’s firefighting approach to financial crises with the analysis of their political origins of Calomiris and Haber in Fragile by Design
Taxi licensing illustrates regulatory capture, the phenomenon by which regulation intended to serve the public is hijacked by industry interests.