Will Hutton has an op-ed piece today in the Observer which includes some striking historical charts. These are extracted by a very interesting article by Andy Haldane, Executive Director, Financial Stability at the Bank of England. Haldane’s article is well worth a read, as a simple conceptualization of the long run problems facing financial regulators.
Haldane describes “the latest incarnation of efforts by the banking system to boost shareholder returns and, whether by accident or design, game the state. For the authorities, [these pose] a dilemma. Ex-ante, they may well say “never again”. But the ex-post costs of crisis mean such a statement lacks credibility. Knowing this, the rational response by market participants is to double their bets. This adds to the cost of future crises. And the larger these costs, the lower the credibility of “never again” announcements. This is a doom loop.”