Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Please...while you are busy leaving Iraq

Excessive weight given to credit rating agencies guarantees systemic risks

As an Executive Director I got invited to make some comments at a "Risk Management Workshop for Regulators: Assessing, Managing and Supervising Financial Risk" arranged by the World Bank in Washington during the week 27 April – 2 May 2003. This is what I told them about the credit rating agencies.

“I simply cannot understand how a world that preaches the value of the invisible hand of millions of market agents can then go out and delegate so much regulatory power to a limited number of human and very fallible credit-rating agencies. This sure must be setting us up for the mother of all systemic errors.”

I never got invited to speak to them again.

You could read more on this subject in my blogs: and looking up under the labels of credit rating agencies and subprime banking regulations.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

And why does not the US use the World Bank for their infrastructure needs.

Felix Rohatyn and Warren Rudman in “Federal action is needed to rebuild America” Financial Times August 23, come out in support of a proposal for a new bank to address “the critical needs of infrastructure”. This, at least in Rohatyn’s case, being from the private sector sounds a bit surprising. But, if they are right, why would the US need a new bank for that? … when there is International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, better known as the World Bank.

Not only would the US by using the World Bank set a great example and help to scale that institution for some really big globalized action that might be needed but also, at least for a start, the World Bank would probably be quite covenant lite… sorry I mean conditionality lenient with the US.