Should the banking industry look more like the hedge fund sector? That’s the surprising suggestion made last week by two Bank of England officials.
The Financial Services Authority has since the credit crunch had a bee in its bonnet about the incentives and rewards offered by financial firms and whether these encourage risky behaviour. It’s a perfectly reasonable concern. Big bonuses probably did skew behaviour towards excessive risk taking in some cases, although the crazy risks run by employee-shareholders at Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers suggest it might be a more complex picture.
Did Mervyn King miss his true vocation? Last night he compared the Bank of England to a church – with the Governor as the priest – as he took to the Mansion House pulpit to pour a rhetorical bucket of cold water over guests at the Lord Mayor’s banquet.
from Neil Collins:
You may not have heard of Adam Posen, but you hadn't heard of David "Danny" Blanchflower before the banking crisis. Posen is Blanchflower's replacement on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee and, boy, does he have some strong views. Here he is before the US Congress three months ago, with some modest proposals.