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It's a good solution for the present situation and one that I support, but preventing self-interest from becoming a part of risk and credibility analysis is, according to the compelling work of Stiglitz and Arrow, always going to be a whack-a-mole game. It's not possible to get to Krugman's "idiot proof" lending environment for more than a short time because power (compelling individuals to surrender their own interests to those of the group) and self-interest are fundamental variables in any lending process.

For example, how well has the SEC actually performed its less critical job responsibilities up to now?  So why would we expect it to do much better job with greater power and responsibility over rating agencies?

by santiago on Mon Apr 26th, 2010 at 12:25:37 PM EST
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But it's all always whack-a-mole: the system has to constantly adapt to technological innovation. This is the current problem with a lot of our systems - we design institutions in 1710 or 1810 or 1910 or 2010 and we expect it to not need changing in pretty fundamental ways as the world changes.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Apr 26th, 2010 at 12:31:25 PM EST
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technological innovation and unexpected or expected results of long-term iterations.

In this case, perhaps the tree of credit needs to be periodically watered with the blood of rating agencies.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Apr 26th, 2010 at 12:32:39 PM EST
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Yes, adaptation is an inherent element, which is the main argument against Krugman's thesis of "idiot-proofing" the system instead of relying of skilled actors.  (I tend to support Krugman on this, however, but there is a valid counter-argument to his case.)
by santiago on Mon Apr 26th, 2010 at 01:01:50 PM EST
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