to favor theft

From the Economist:

What has disturbed me is the resistance of some within the financial sector to innovations which would improve the ability of the financial sector to perform its core functions.

For instance, modern technology allows the creation of an efficient electronics payments mechanism, where the transfer of funds, say, from a customer’s account to the retailer’s would cost at most pennies. Yet in most countries, the fees can be orders of magnitude greater.

As a member of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, I saw the resistance to the introduction of inflation-indexed bonds that protect individuals’ savings for their retirement from the uncertainties of inflation decades later. The financial sector’s complaint was that individuals just bought and held these securities; for the retirees, who wanted to minimize transactions costs, that was good; for the financial sector, that wanted to maximize transactions costs, it was not.

There are mortgage products (such as those prevalent in Denmark) which would have helped ordinary families manage the risk associated with their most important asset, their home. But in few countries have they been introduced; in many countries, the financial sector has resisted their introduction.