I didn’t get past the front pages of my US print editions of today’s Financial Times and Wall Street Journal over breakfast. Either breakfast is tending to be too short, or perspective on whats going on out there is tightening. Anyway, I had a few issues regarding today’s headlines.
First the insanity: Credit Cards for Riskiest Customers Road Back – Wall Street Journal.
Because the US economy is not oriented around growth and private investment growth, and its instead held back with increasing complex regulation, bigger governance, and public controls, it seems the private sector has no choice but to repeat the mistakes of the past and start to sell services to those that can ill afford it. When will this madness end? When will we have a government that is focus on pro growth, smaller governance, freedom, less regulation, moral responsibility and accountability? When will we stop saying that everyone has the right to everything? They don’t. We are destined to repeat our mistakes and probably soon.
Now for something wholly more sensible: BoE limits mortgages to protect recovery – Financial Times.
The Bank of England is the one central bank that has more powers than others to poke its nose into how financial bubbles develop, and yes, with regulation. The difference is that the behavior is intended to curb irrational exuberance, not prevent or limit regular growth. In other words to prevent growth of some kind from getting out of hand. The BoE is actually establishing regulation to prevent the approval of mortgages to those that can ill afford them. What a refreshing piece of news. How rational. Yes, this means some of us won’t get a mortgage. That’s because some of us don’t yet qualify. It’s hard, yes. Is it unfair? Yes perhaps at an individual level. But at a group level, it is safety first. The herd survives longer, even though the individual is limited. Better, that individual is NOT limited on improving their lot. There are other things they can do to improve their credit worthiness…..
The other interesting point about this situation is that other central banks are watching to see how the BoE does. If the actions work, and the UK house prices grow only within the banks plan (no more than 30% over next 3 years), others may follow. It is a hope, since this kind of nose poking has not been tried before. Then again, I cant see this style being adopted in the US. The previous WSJ point suggests this is not of interest to the in-power political party.
Now for the sublime: Berlin axes Verizon contract as concerns over US spying take toll – Financial Times. The article suggests that the politics of snooping, the possibility that the US governance might snoop, is enough to impact a commercial agreement in the private sector. Since there is a suspicion that Verizon, an American company, might be subject to NSA rules for handing over data, the German government does not want to risk being snooped on. The article than reports that Verizon Germany is in fact a German company, subject to German rules, not US. And also, any data stored outside of the US is not subject to US rules. So the implication is that the contract does not need to be cancelled since there seems no way the US can force a German company to hand over data from German (or at least, non US) soil. So what on earth is going on here? Makes no sense to me.