Friday, June 08, 2018

Was Sofia Goggia singing her national anthem with such fervor just being another Italian populist? NO!

I refer here to Nobel Laureate Michael Spence’s “The Italian Economy’s Moment of Truth” Project Syndicate July 7.

Spence writes:“Italian banks currently holding considerable amounts of government debt would suffer substantial balance-sheet damage.” 

Why is that? Is it perhaps because bank regulators allow banks to hold Italian debt against the least capital, meaning they can leverage it the most, meaning they can earn the highest expected risk adjusted returns on equity on it? Yes!

Then Spence writes: “Moreover, Italy needs to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystems that underpin dynamism and innovation. As matters stand, the financial sector is too closed, and it provides too little funding and support for new ventures.” 

Why is that? Could it be because regulators require banks to for instance hold more capital against loans to entreprenuers than against residential mortgages? Yes!

Spence writes: “Italy has enormous economic potential. But the challenge lies in unlocking it, which will require several things to happen.”

One reason for that is that the option to restore competitiveness by means of devaluing its currency was closed when the Euro was adopted, and the EU authorities have been too busy with other minutia over the last 20 years so as to concentrate on how to solve the immense challenge with creating a union by pushing a common currency instead of a common currency resulting from a union.

The best of the Winter Olympics 2018 for me was seeing Sofia Goggia singing her Italian national anthem with such enthusiasm. There was not one bit of Europe present in her voice… and that is an indication Europe is not going in a European direction. Was she a populist?

Let’s face it. Americans dream they are American. Few if no Europeans, dream they are Europeans.

PS. “We will safeguard your bank system with our risk weighted capital requirements for banks”, as if they the regulators in the Basel Committee really knew what those risks were, is a hubris fed dangerous technocratic besserwisser populism of the worst kind. 


PS. Just in case you are curious, the worst for me at the WO-2018 was to suffer with Egvenia Medvedeva when not winning gold.