Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Financial Crisis Was Too Short to Teach Us Lessons: Jay Ralph

Unintended Consequences

It would be short-sighted to concentrate only on 2010, given what we all have just experienced. There are longer-term implications. Intense global discussions are taking place around future regulation that may set the rules for decades to come. We must get this right. Though there is a need to act swiftly, we must give careful consideration to the unintended consequences of new regulation or legislation.

Are our efforts to build a more stable economic framework, while trying to protect free markets, futile? I don't believe so. If we succeed, financial institutions will be better prepared for the next crisis. This serves us all: industry, employees, owners, customers and the wider society.

Nonetheless, I am left with the feeling that the financial crisis may have been too short and the lessons of 2009 not fully learned. Companies, governments and consumers may go back to their old ways. Bubbles may again form. Long-term sustainability may give way to short-term profitability and people could again get hurt.

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