Bank of England King calls for break-up of banks

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ASusilovic, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, called on Tuesday night for banks to be split into separate utility companies and risky ventures, saying it was “a delusion” to think tougher regulation would prevent future financial crises.

    Mr King’s call for a break-up of banks to prevent them becoming “too important to fail” puts him sharply at odds with the direction of domestic and international banking reform.

    The Treasury and the Financial Services Authority have specifically rejected the idea of spliting up the banks, while the Conservatives think action in Britain alone along these lines would not be feasible.

    Internationally, the proposals of the Group of 20, the Financial Stability Board and the Basel Committee have been aimed primarily at raising the quantity and quality of banks’ capital to make future banking failures much less likely.

    Mr King borrowed Churchillian language in a speech in Edinburgh to highlight the burden banks had placed on taxpayers. “Never in the field of financial endeavour has so much money been owed by so few to so many. And, one might add, so far with little real reform.”

    The forcefulness of Mr’s King’s language reflects his belief that the structure of the banks needs to be put firmly on the international regulatory agenda, where focus has been on strengthening capital and regulating bankers’ pay.

    The Bank governor wants to see the utility aspects of banking – payment systems and deposit taking – hived off from more speculative ventures such as proprietary trading. “There are those who claim that such proposals are impractical. It is hard to see why,” he said.

    Although he said that ideas to force banks to hold debt that automatically turns into equity in a crisis were “worth a try”, he downplayed their likely effect. ”The belief that appropriate regulation can ensure that speculative activities do not result in failures is a delusion”.

    It is likely that Mr King’s words will again irritate the Treasury. In its summer white paper, the Treasury said there was no evidence that separation would have worked to allow banks to fail safely.

    Instead, it believes that the proposal for banks to arrange in advance for their orderly death with so-called “living wills” would provide effective separation in a future crisis.

    Mr King, while supporting such wills, said their downside was they required heavy regulation and costly oversight.

    Many experts believe that the governor will get his way on separation, but by default rather than by design, because proposals for tighter capital regulations on risky parts of banking will make these unprofitable and banks will choose to ditch them.
  2. This too-big-to-fail is more republican nonsense hoisted onto the taxpayer

    It is a socialist tax on the smaller more competitive banks who have to pay a higher premium on borrowed money because they are small enough to fail.

    Obama being a republican lite, don't expect anything to be done anytime soon. With fewer players like GS and MS taking on bigger leveraged risks, the market risk is now even higher. The next big bailout is probably a year out.
  3. dtan1e


    its quitely possible that the major banks has lots connections and political clout, thats why it will always be difficult to reform them like trying to move a mountain, it takes a politician with iron conviction or is crazy or suicidal to implement any true reforms
  4. the1


    Goldman Sachs is pretty much a monopoly, which spells disaster for the US. A private bank can control the economy and money supply of the US and there really isn't much the government can do about it seeing as the government is largely occupied by GS Execs. The banking system won't go the way of Standard Oil. In fact, they are likely to get larger.
  5. Bailey Building and Loan - Boyah!!!

    The course of George Bailey's wonderful life, to his great frustration, tracks the fate of the Bailey Building and Loan. Throughout the film, George is the archetypal investor. He saves. He reinvests dividends. He takes the long view while the others around him mock him and snap up short term gains. He puts his core values first and his short term pleasure second.