An impromptu speech I gave this week on the importance of the market and regulation. I think it deserves a larger audience, so here goes. Strap yourself in…
“The market, and capitalism, are the only time proven methods of bringing people out of poverty. No other system has ever done more for so many. But as much as I would love to see a free market, I know regulation is needed. Every time someone cheats the system or games it in their favour, they steal opportunities from honest participants. Every time it happens, trust in the system is eroded. As trust disappears people will look for an alternative. It’s happening. People on morning television are now proudly declaring themselves as goddamn communists and offering their warped worldview as a viable alternative, and disgruntled people with no faith in the current system are being seduced by the message. So yes, we need regulators. We need them to hit the cheats hard. Whether it’s a dodgy financial advisor getting a £10k fine for not responding to customer complaints, or Deutsche Bank getting hit with a £163million fine for failing to provide controls to prevent money laundering, I support it. Hit them harder. Yes, people will hear the scandal and in the short term trust the institutions less. But the cheaters and the thieves will hear it too and maybe it’ll put a few more off from trying to game the system. In the long term it’ll be worth it. So we have to hit them hard and make it count.”
To be honest, I think the barista was convinced. Not so sure about anyone else in the queue, they looked unimpressed. Meh.