Wednesday, 25 February 2009

At Last: the FSA Bubbles Brown

Turner and Sants of the FSA appeared before the Treasury select committee today, and finally fingered NuLab as the architects of Britain’s financial woes. I don’t see how Brown can dodge this one when normal hostilities resume.

Among the highlights, reported by Pesto:

'The FSA [will] be increasing the capital requirements for the trading activities of banks by several hundred per cent. This means that the securities trading and investment banking activities will become more expensive for banks, much less profitable. Banks will be deterred from engaging in the kind of financial engineering that led to the creation of all those poisonous, subprime-based investments. It implies that the FSA got it wrong to a mindboggling extent.'

Indeed. The FSA always had the power to set capital adequacy levels, at the stroke of a pen. So why didn’t it do so in a way that made stupid business too costly to contemplate ? The Grauniad picks up the story:

'Turner said: ‘All the pressure on the FSA was not to say why aren't you looking at these business models, but why are you being so heavy and intrusive, can't you make your regulation a bit more light touch?’ There was "political philosophy" under which the FSA was told to avoid being "heavy and intrusive" and asked to be more "light touch".'

And we can name names. Brown, of course, but also Blair, who famously said in 2005:

'Something is seriously awry when the Financial Services Authority … is seen as hugely inhibiting of efficient business by perfectly respectable companies that have never defrauded anyone.'

This was always in the public domain, of course, but the point hasn’t really been rammed home. Looks like it might be now - if Newsnight this evening is anything to go by.

ND
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Amusing footnote:

Pesto's piece on the www is headed FSA Admits Huge Mistakes. The URL suggests his working title was something different ...


http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2009/02/fsa_says_we_were_worldclass_ni.html

Wordclass what ?! Answers in the comments...

14 comments:

Disgusted of west London said...

nimptys

Anonymous said...

ROFLMAO it's coming out

Anonymous said...

And these proposals come from who?
Refresh my memory, how many years have the EU failed to get auditors to sign off on their accounts?
Is it 12 years yet, or 13, I forget!

Anonymous said...

looks like a long standing conspiracy to me.

Mitch said...

Oh dear is that the sound of a sand bag heading for browns head?.

What happened to those 30 documents that were to incriminate brown,did they get lost in the post?

Steven_L said...

I liked the bit where one of them asked Turner about a section of one of Barclays reports and he didn't know what they were talking about!

Plato said...

Pesto's post is highly amusing - I only get about 50% of the jargon but it's mind-boggling.

Indeed - when normal service is resumed it'll be a corker.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Those MPs are just grandstanding, Lord Turner is a corrupt Labour luvvie, out of the lot, I'd trust Pesto the most.

World class at turning a blind eye, I'd guess.

Mark Wadsworth said...

@ Anon, it's thirteen and counting.

mutleythedog said...

I have earned nearly £650,000 - in my working life. I shall retrain as a banker I think...

By the way I have been investigating investments on my blog this week! Maybe you'all have some tips for we mere mortals?

dearieme said...

Sir Fred's pension is "hush money" of course.

Blue Eyes said...

how can any organisation justify that kind of arrangement to its shareholders? "If we want to sack you, you can have a £650k a year pension". The only obvious answer is that it is to stop him working elsewhere or spilling the beans.

I call for a windfall tax.

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