Wednesday 14 April 2010

Headline News: Brown admits mistake

Gordon Brown has admitted he made a mistake in not introducing tougher bank regulation when he was chancellor; the truth is that globally and nationally we should have been regulating them more," he added.

Its good he's admitted he's not infallible. But I don't think he's learnt the correct lesson. It wasn't a question of more or less regulation: it was a question of the right sort of regulation. I wrote last year on the excessive amount of irrelevant financial regulation; a couple of colleagues posed by a stack of paper representing the amount of regulation in one year for financial services. Over 5,000 pages of it. But it didn't focus on a few simple issues, like the amount of gearing banks could have, and by being very detailed, people looked for ways round it rather than applying principles.

And this approach of excessive detailed regulation rather than simple principles applies in most factors of life - another example is our tax legislation, which is the longest in the world having in the 90s been one of the simplest.

It's an attitude to life. Labour believe that people need to be told how to behave, to be told what they are allowed to do, in all aspects of their life because the state can be trusted, people can't.

I just think that's wrong. And although Brown has admitted mistakes on bank regulation (he could hardly do otherwise) he's not, in my mind, admitted the right ones.


Troy said...

There's only 22 days left until the election so there isn't time for him to admit all his mistakes. Mind you, it would be a nice gesture if he'd just do a Top 100.

wife in the north said...

really interesting perspective from someone who knows what he's talking about (you I meant. And Gordon obviously.)