Monday, October 15, 2007

Regulation time

There are many reasons for business for to take a radically new - positive and proactive -  attitude towards regulation. It is easy too see that focusing only on quarterly results will not handle risks for humankind, the economy and customers properly and it does not either seem to lead to promotion for good-for-all standardization and competition. Depleting finite resources fast for no good reasons, driving energy prices sky high, endangering health and so on - on one hand - while on the other hand missing opportunities offered by new technology due to lack of interoperability cannot continue.

What about the financial sector? I did not believe that more regulation would be needed there - after all what the industry has been through.  But if only a small part of the media-stories (rather small parts usually are) about the granting of mortgages to borrowers with slim chances to get out of their positions without being hurt seriously is true - I do - as an ex-banker feel ashamed - where was the moral? Selling such assets to professional pension fund managers is another story - but buying junk is a risk that should not hit savings without proper pre-warnings.

There are of course any number of less-than perfect examples of regulation. But in many cases this has been due to business resisting the inevitable and not taking the guiding role needed early enough. In other cases the bad results are due to a ideology-based will to govern and negative attitude to free enterprises.

My belief is that modern thinking in democratic institutions can handle and will actually have to take responsibility for initiating regulation in a new and better way - especially if business steps in with a true positive attitude to the inevitable. Good profits have to be "earned" in a different way in the future.

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