My piece below on Cricket and Morality mentioned the problem of rulews crowding out principles and therefore judgement.

Patrick Young of YoungMarkets replies:

The deepest irony – and one of the many untruths spiralling around in the battle against finance is the myth of deregulation and principles-based regulation.

1) principles-based is a good system

2) the UK regulators had a hybrid: lots of rules built on a few principles which didn’t work.

Stock exchange regulation worked very efficiently on the basis of “my word is my bond” for hundreds of years. The problem with the stupid niggling rules constantly inserted by regulators (on the classic governmental principal of ‘being seen to do something’) eroded this to the point where less honest players were allowed to say “My word is my bond…er, subject to regulation, where I get a bit of wiggle room. Oh, and that was what I said, but not what I am going to presume it to mean. So screw you.

You are absolutely correct: the financial fiasco of 2007-08 was helped along by prescriptive regulation which does not allow common sense to prevail

Not much to disagree with there?

While we are on the subject, one of the worst sources of rules-based stupidity is the Health and Safety industry in tight alliance with the evil Precautionary Principle. Combined in one horrible neurosis they allow the insanest fears of the most fatuous parts of the population to run riot.

The result? Manure!

Note this passage:

“The health and safety of our customers and staff is our top priority and for this reason we are unable to serve pedestrians, bicycle riders or customers on horseback through the drive-thru.”

Liars! The fact that health and safety is a priority is NOT a reason for refusing to serve these people. It’s a device for stopping thinking intelligently.