Many businesses may be enjoying the quiet period between Christmas and New Year, but for one Astroturf lobby group, the pumping out of misleading propaganda never stops: today saw the launch of yet another “report” by the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), this one a grandly titled “briefing paper” also carrying the mark of the Legatum Institute.
Announcing this new work, the TPA website tells that “New financial regulations could tip global banking sector into new crisis”, but a look through the document, “Financial regulation goes global: Risks for the world economy” shows precious little detail, bar a graph at the top of Page 3 that attempts to show a relationship between the M4 money supply indicator and a combination of share and house prices.
Why use M4, and why combine share and house prices? Alas, we don’t get an answer to this, and the assertion that prices of these assets “tend to follow” the movement in M4 is, at the very least, tenuous. Indeed, the “Executive Summary” on Page 1 shows the lack of substance. Consider the following:
TPA: “Regulation ... played a significant role in driving the financial crisis”
ZS: What regulation?
TPA: “The increased internationalisation of financial regulation risks amplifying future global booms and busts”
ZS: Assertion made, as with so much from the TPA, with no evidence to back it up.
TPA: “The Basel rules may still be procyclical”
ZS: And they may not. Again, no evidence is offered.
TPA: “Some measures proposed, like attacks on tax havens and hedge funds, are motivated by other agendas”
ZS: Look over there!
The following eleven pages continue in the same vein. No alternative to the strengthening of the regulatory systems in place around the globe at present is proposed: that is not the TPA way. Indeed, the report’s final paragraph admits this shortcoming, while asserting that regulation is somehow harmful.
This should come as no surprise: the TPA opposes and demonises any regulation, and the Legatum Group includes a portfolio investment fund manager and an investment fund. So this "report" is no more than the TPA giving solace to a soulmate.
Just fancy that!