Time Inconsistency with Application to the Design of a Sustainable Financial System

5 June 2014
The most valuable asset that people in a sovereign state can have is good, sustainable governance. Setting up a system of good, sustainable governance is not easy. The big and well-known problem is time inconsistency of optimal policies. A mechanism that has proven valuable in mitigating the time inconsistency problem is rule by law. The too-big-to-fail problem in banking is the result of the time inconsistency problem. In this lecture I will argue there is an alternative financial system that is not subject to the too-big-to-fail problem. The alternative arrangement I propose is a pure transaction banking system. Transaction banks are required to hold 100$\%$ interest bearing reserves and can pay tax-free interest on demand deposits. With this system, there cannot be a bank run as there is no place to run to. Mutual arrangements would finance all business investment, which is not currently the case.