Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register to get unlimited access to all of Citywire’s Fund Manager database. Registration is free and only takes a minute.

Too much regulation? There ought to be a rule against it

Too much regulation? There ought to be a rule against it

It’s just as well Moses wasn’t a lawyer or, in the modern sense, a regulator. Had he been, we would have at least 4,673 commandments and enough tablets to sustain a French surgery for a week.

I have been somewhat cheered in recent weeks by a number of articles in the national press commenting on the extraordinary density and proliferation of regulation, particularly in the areas of taxation and corporate activity.

What is this urge to prescribe, why this explosion of instruction (often ill written or simply unintelligible)?

I seem to recall various political parties, here and elsewhere, promising to address the issue – and they have delivered nothing meaningful as far as I am aware.

Quite the contrary. They continue to oversee scribbling and re-scribbling.

In some locations (Brussels inevitably suggests itself), such activity is perhaps viewed as evidence of good government – though not the thing itself – and efficient organisation.

Voters, including those who chose not to vote, have at least made their thoughts clear. Do the rule writers think the rule takers are fools?

 I imagine so, but in future they may need to develop a better honed instinct for self-preservation in those corridors where deflation stalks.

A challenge: can any of you readily recall a public market benchmark or procedure that has not been rigged by bankers in recent years? Answers on a postcard please, you won’t need a page of A4.

The price of standards

And while the powers that be in these august institutions lecture their staff on proper behaviour and their institution’s high standards, they seek mammoth sums from shareholders to pay fines and legal costs, and no doubt themselves.

They won’t be getting my clients’ money.

Another challenge: confess, dear reader, has any among you not sat in front of an internal corporate missive from on high in recent years and thought it patronising, inane drivel?

Do let me know. I have seen and heard some stunning examples and would like to augment my collection.

Sadly, if you persist in treating people as idiots, they will eventually, in some way or another, start to behave like idiots, even if they have a PhD in nuclear physics, have written an exquisite monograph on Proust or even fought in the third crusade.

Fortunately for all, I am leaving shortly on one of my periodic retreats to the valley of the Lot.

I hope to find it in better nick than of late – not that it seems to make much difference among the ripening vines.

Rupert Caldecott is a fund and private client manager at Dalton Strategic 

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Play JPM’s Negyal: Back divis to temper EM volatility

JPM’s Negyal: Back divis to temper EM volatility

Omar Negyal, co-manager of the JPMorgan Global Emerging Markets Income trust, says a dividend approach to emerging markets reduces the volatility of investing in the asset class.

Play WMR: Why Russia will lose this war

WMR: Why Russia will lose this war

Author and journalist Adam Lebor believes a perfect storm is brewing when it comes to the Russian economy. .

Play WMR: Gerard Lyons warns Asia is the real risk, not Russia & Ukraine

WMR: Gerard Lyons warns Asia is the real risk, not Russia & Ukraine

Chief economic adviser to London mayor Boris Johnson outlines the geo-political risks in Asia and explains why the risk of another eurozone crisis must not be underestimated.

Your Business: Cover Star Club

Profile: 'new normal' now is as dangerous as when it was applied to tech

Profile: 'new normal' now is as dangerous as when it was applied to tech

7IM's CIO Chris Darbyshire says he has been re-energised by his new role, but has little time for 'new normal' doom-mongers

Wealth Manager on Twitter