I’m trying something new. I’ve started making videos about banking, monetary policy and sustainable finance.
I’m still trying to figure out the best format. But I already like the ability to use graphs and pictures. Compared to blogging, video is less nuanced. For example, you can’t link to all sources. But maybe that’s an advantage.
The fraction of bonds issued by carbon intensive companies in the ECB’s CSPP portfolio and accepted as collateral is far larger than the GVA of these companies, see e.g. Matikainen (figure 3) or Dafermos (figure 4).
Paris Agreement, Article 2, 1(c): This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the Convention, including its objective, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by: Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.
I started this blog in 2016. I wanted to publish short pieces while I was writing Bankers are people, too and build an audience for the book.
A lot has changed since then.
In the first years, I tried to post at least once a week about topics ranging from economic history to personal finance. Currently, I write almost exclusively about banks and monetary policy. I have lost interest in faits divers such as Gamestop, lumber, dogecoin… My style has also changed. I now mainly use this blog as my personal wikipedia. Well-polished articles don’t offer enough reward for the work it takes to write them.
Looking back, what should I have done differently?
Use video instead of text
Don’t waste time on ideologues
More coverage of innovative1 topics such as blockchain and ESG
That said, I’m glad that I met new friends and found jobs thanks to this blog.
In their paper Against amnesia: re-imagining central banking, Benjamin Braun and Leah Downey describe the elite consensus on central banking as a ‘holy trinity’. This holy trinity consists of (1) an independent central bank that (2) sets the short term interest rate to (3) achieve stable prices1.
The fact that quantitative easing (QE) is still often called unconventional monetary policy speaks volumes for how deeply the holy trinity is ingrained in the minds of the community. However, more and more people are questioning this model of central banking2.
Central bankers are almost begging politicians to spend more. A formal framework for fiscal and monetary coordination would do away with the fiction3 of central bank independence.
While almost nobody wants to ditch price stability, central bankers are taking on extra responsabilities based on local sensitivities. European central bankers (both at the ECB and the Bank of England) are making their institutions climate friendly. The Federal Reserve has had a dual mandate of price stability and full employment for a long time. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand will take house prices into account.
Although central banking post-holy trinity will have its own challenges, I, for one, welcome our central bank overlords.
Tommaso Valletti on how the EU anti-monopoly system works in practice (On the role of economic consultants arguing in favor of M&A: “They produce a glossy pamphlet with three nice pages: exactly what the judge needs, he can say ‘ah, here is a counter-argument, here is an anecdote to rebut this. So, nobody knows’.”; On the capabilities of the EU: “DG Comp has less than 1000 people for half a billion citizens.”)
OCCRP published a series of articles on “OpenLux“. French newspaper Le Monde scraped a database with the ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs) of companies registered in Luxembourg.
To check the register yourself, go to the Luxembourg Business Registers website, click Portail LBR, click RBE, click Rechercher un dossier RBE. (I cannot provide a direct link, as the URL is time-sensitive and would show up as broken.)
The investigation did not find anything that shocks me. There is quite some research that shows Luxembourg is a popular location for holding companies (in addition to it being an investment fund center and a banking hub).
Something to keep in mind when reading such stories is that Luxembourg is quite transparent relative to its peers:
“According to EU regulations, member states were supposed to adopt publicly available beneficial ownership registers by January 10, 2020, but most have not done so. Luxembourg is one of only five member states to have implemented a register that is free and publicly accessible. The others are Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia, and Slovenia.
Though other EU member states also have registers, seven have put up paywalls and 17 have not made theirs available to the public. The U.S. Corporate Transparency Act, which passed last month, calls for the United States to set up a UBO register as well, but it will be made available only to law enforcement.” (source)