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My Speech on the Importance of Regulation in Financial Services

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.

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3 replies »

  1. [wine] “The market, and capitalism, are the only time proven methods of bringing people out of poverty”; it could also be argued that this cuts both ways, wherein the dynamics established by “the market” are the only time proven method for creating the very notion of poverty, with flexible pricing/rewards providing the conditions that accommodate / facilitate relative disparities in resources between participants; taken to logical ends this results in a spectrum of possession of resources, with the extremes being total capture of resources (extreme wealth) at one end and total absence of resources (poverty) at the other [/itsthewinetalking]

    • Well, you do have good taste in wine…

      Couple of things. Poverty existed before capitalism. Since capitalism, the countries using it have reduced poverty to the lowest ever levels.

      I think it’s a system worth protecting.

  2. or, more succinctly: does the market bring people out of poverty or put them there in the first place?

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