Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dogmatic thinking

I don't like dogmatic thinking and dogmatic statements, but in several posts I have spoken about ministers of finance and central bank presidents as if they would be dogmatic thinkers by definition. Or, at least, that's the impression you may have gotten.

However, I'd like to stress that I do not think all ministers of finance and all presidents of central banks or all managing directors of the IMF, are dogmatic in their thinking, writing and speaking. Or that they are always dogmatic. How would I dare to think that!

I have high esteem for several (former) ministers of finance and central bank presidents (or their deputies) and I am happy that a few of them "belong" to the FONDAD international network. I don't need to mention their names, most of them you can find in the list of the FONDAD Network on our website.

Let me make one exception: Bill White (his official name is White, William). I have high esteem for his thinking and his commitment. I remember vividly how he shared with me many, many years ago, long before the subprime and credit crisis emerged, his concern about US credit markets. At the time, I understood that his public statements were more careful and less articulate, and I still understand that. For many years, I have also been more careful and less articulate than before I created FONDAD.

To finish this brief thought, I think you have to take into account certain roles you have to play. Being careful in your words does not mean you are a conformist. It may just mean that you apply a bit of self-censorship, for certain reasons. Whether those reasons are good, depends on your own assessment. Others have nothing to do with that -- unless you are interested in hearing their opinion.

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