quarta-feira, 11 de fevereiro de 2009

Pay bankers more than other workers because their talents are so rare? You must be joking.

Question: Is banking an exceptionally difficult job or one that demands exceptional talent not required by brain surgery, fighting in Afghanistan etc?

Answer: Of course not. It is a gross misallocation of resources to pull the most talented people into a business whose true value added is modest and many of whose activities are zero sum. For the UK it has surely been a catastrophe.

The more energetic and “talented” bankers are, the bigger the risks they will take. I no more want bankers to have such characteristics than I want those who run the electricity grid to have these characteristics.

The reason even junior bankers make so much money is that they sit on the money flow, which is the result of the licence given by the state to create money. We should not give any support to the ridiculous idea that bankers really do deserve their pay in some objective sense. Even Hayek would not have supported that idea.

Special talent really isn’t needed in commercial banking. What is needed is trustworthiness, caution, scrupulousness and organisational ability. Everybody knew this until a couple of decades ago. They were right.

Isto, e mais a defesa de que os Governos devem fixar as remunerações dos gestores dos bancos que recebem apoios do Estado, num post, e noutro post, de Martin Wolf no site do Financial Times.

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