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Monday, December 08, 2008

The MSM take up the punishment theme

Nassim Taleb and Pablo Triana echo my call for condign punishment for the white-collar thieves.


Wolfie said...

I think you are underestimating the legal complexity of actually doing this. The culpability has been deliberately spread thin and most of the people with these responsibilities sacked months ago. Senior bankers are not fools; whole swathes of senior management are deliberately structured to brace against legal action and politicians are paid off its not even secret.

Sackerson said...

I'm calling for it, but I know it'll "never happen, Cap'n".

Anonymous said...

Should the credit raters undergo a security clearance?

Clearly Taleb and Triana are right in that we need to extract more accountability from the experts and from those that showed themselves incapable of questioning the experts. And, now and again, a please-return-your-Nobel-Prize back does not have to be so bad for the Nobel Prize either. That said I do not share in the extremisms like that of retiring “Value-at-Risk” books from the shelves” especially because those are exactly the books that now need to be reread so that we can learn from a better understanding of What-Was-Really-at-Risk.

Also, let us not look at this financial crisis as created only by financial scientists gone mad. The financial regulators are also to blame. Not only did they introduce minimum capital requirements for banks based on their own subjective interpretation of what risk means and without giving much thought on how that would affect the whole system but they also empowered some few credit rating agencies to be the official guides on risks which, as we have seen, was a magnificent act of pure madness.

Let me here ask the question that perhaps best helps to place the whole issue of the credit rating agencies in its real perspective. Since these agencies have been given so immense powers that if misused could turn them into dangerous weapons of mass destruction capable of inflicting big sufferings on humanity… should then the individual credit raters have to undergo a security clearance? Of course I do not imply any planned wrong doings, that I swear, but I guess you have to agree with me that this is at least great stuff for nail-biting movies.

Sackerson said...

Thank you, Per, the credit rating agencies do need to be put in the police van, too. Allegedly, they were compromised because they depended on fees from the organisations they rated and so were less than diligent in ferreting-out weaknesses.

AntiCitizenOne said...

Regulators are terrible judges of risk.

Far better to give them the job of maintaining a stable M4 via Reserve ratio manipulation.