Democratic societies make decisions that affect us all in two main ways. Some are made through politics; some are assigned to experts, mainly located in regulatory or specialized agencies. The two different environments for decision making reflect different kinds of behaviour that we count as ‘reasonable’.
We also lead our life in an environment where we do our own thing. In everyday life we operate to yet a different standard of what we count as reasonable.
The problems arise when these different worlds overlap. It is then that we start talking about ‘over-regulation’ or 'government intrusion'.. This blog discusses the importance of doing our own thing.
Following a request from the Bank of England, a report was issued last year by a financial markets standards setting body (FMSB) on patterns of misconduct in financial markets. The report analysed 400 cases over more than 200 years. The patterns of misconduct fall into a core group of seven general categories of misbehaviour discussed in this blog. They are constantly repeated. They apply to all asset classes, from US Treasuries to onion futures, and to Bitcoins.
The time period analysed by the report corresponds with the rise of democratic politics. This blog looks at how far such patterns of behaviour can be seen in politics. It asks whether we should be sending more politicians to gaol.