Capability ousts financial literacy
Our market structure is a 'buyer beware' one, where information empowered consumers will sort through various options that competing firms will offer, and make the best decision that maximises their economic utility
When in the space of one month you get three calls all asking for inputs on the same issue, you know that the dollar pipeline behind the question is green and flush. The callers wanted to better understand ‘financial capability’. What happened to financial literacy? That used to be the buzz word till recently. It seems that after the spectacular and expensive failure of financial literacy efforts, the new thing that is soaking up attention, effort and, of course, money, is building financial capability. I think we’ll see marginally better results in this, but five years and millions of dollars later, they will move onto something else. But let’s understand why literacy became the buzzword, why it failed and why building capacity is doomed.