Saturday, October 25, 2014

Yves Smith — Adair Turner: The Consequences of Money-Manager Capitalism

Yves here. This is a terrific interview with Lord Adair Turner, former head of the FSA. Most of it focuses on the things missed in contemporary economics, particularly macroeconomics, and how some disciplinary “back to the future” would be desirable. 
A major topic of discussion is how wealth is becoming as concentrated as it was in the 18th century, and the driver then and now was the disproportionately large role real estate has come to play. Then, it was income-producing agricultural land. Now it is urban property, bid up by domestic and international elites who want to live in particularly prized cities. Turner points out the irony that access to cheap finance for housing, meant to help middle and lower income buyers, has instead contributed to rising wealth inequality. He also describes how the ability of banks and financial markets to supply virtually unlimited amounts of credit, against a limited stock of particularly sought-after locations, has the potential to create tulip-mania type results. 
Perhaps due to time constraints, Turner didn’t venture into the views of classical economists, that profiting from land, which they derided as rentier capitalism, was economically unproductive. As Michael Hudson has stressed, they urged heavy taxation of land as the remedy 
An aside: Turner has an extremely plummy accent which he normally uses to theatrical effect. It isn’t clear whether the recording quality flattened that or whether he decided to tune his intonation a tad for North American listeners (not sure why that would be a plus, since a British accent is worth at least 20 attributed IQ points here, and the more obviously Oxbridge, the better).
 Naked Capitalism
Adair Turner: The Consequences of Money-Manager CapitalismYves Smith

1 comment:

Jan said...

Thank you Tom!Great find as always.This old ones by Richard Koo deserve to re-readen,since nothing really changed since way back when he spoke about it at first ,sadly!

Richard Koo: How the West is Repeating Japan's Mistakes

The world in balance sheet recession:
causes, cure, and politics
Richard C. Koo (Nomura Research Institute, Tokyo)