Fear and Greed

The Interim Report of the UK Independent Commission on Banking was released yesterday.  In his opening remarks, Commission’s chairman Sir John Vickers enunciated three key points. First, banks need to hold more capital.  According the Commission, the Basel III proposal of 7%–possibly more for especially large and important banks–is a step in the right direction.  … Read moreFear and Greed

Playing Chicken in the City (Chicken à la King?)

It looks the banking news from Britain will continue to be interesting for a while. The Treasury and Bank of England Governor Mervyn King are lining up in support of the as-yet unreleased report of the UK Independent Commission on banking  headed by Sir John  Vickers.  The commission is expected to recommend that UK financial … Read morePlaying Chicken in the City (Chicken à la King?)

Learning from our mistakes

Let’s hope. Just as there are recurring themes in literature—and flies in the wake of a garbage truck–there a few things that we can reliably count on in the wake of a financial crisis. In the immediate aftermath comes damage control.  The central bank intervenes.  The legislature and executive agree on emergency measures.  Bankers keep … Read moreLearning from our mistakes