Ossi Leppänen, 18 April 2012

Since the start of the crisis the Eurosystem balance sheet has grown from €1200 billion in June 2007 to around €2900 billion in March 2012. But this is spread unevenly among different central banks within the Eurozone, raising the thorny issue of intra-area (TARGET) balances. This column argues that these balances signal a need for change and restructuring in the Eurozone banking sector.

Xavier Freixas, Christian Laux, 17 April 2012

Faith in market discipline has been shattered by the financial crisis. This column argues that the failure of market discipline has different roots. It points to a lack of transparency and efficiency, particularly when it is needed most. In order to rectify this, however, it is not enough to merely increase the provision and disclosure of information. Instead, transparency depends on how that information is interpreted and used.

Charles Goodhart, Wolf Wagner, 12 April 2012

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket" is standard financial advice. This column says that financial regulators are violating that principle. It argues that financial institutions have become too similar to each other, making financial crises more likely. It proposes a regulatory approach based on relative stock market correlations that would encourage greater diversity in the financial system.

Thorvaldur Gylfason, 11 April 2012

Most economists would agree that the global financial and economic crisis was at least partly caused by a failure in the regulation of the financial sector. While regulatory reform is now being debated throughout the world, critics argue that it is only a matter of time before any new regulations are removed by powerful interest groups. This column asks whether prompt corrective action belongs in constitutions.

Andrew Patton, Tarun Ramadorai, Michael Streatfield, 09 April 2012

In the wake of the financial crisis, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a rule requiring US-based hedge funds to provide regular reports on their performance, trading positions, and counterparties. Before the policy is phased in later this year, this column argues that such a move will benefit not only regulators but investors as well.

Ralph De Haas, Yevgeniya Korniyenko, Elena Loukoianova, Alexander Pivovarsky, 04 April 2012

Depending on which way you look at it, international banking either provided stability in countries where domestic banks failed or provided instability in otherwise well-run financial sectors. This column looks at the experience of Europe’s emerging economies. It argues that the latest Vienna Initiative aimed at improved coordination and information-exchange between banks is essential for financial stability in the region.

The Editors, 30 March 2012

This new CEPR eReport is devoted to exploring the general issue of the origins of excessive risk-taking in the banking industry. In doing so, it provides the analytical ammunition required to rigorously examine regulatory policy at a time when it is undergoing a complete metamorphosis.

Nicolas Véron, 17 March 2012

Are the regulators finally fighting back? This column argues that behind the headlines, those responsible for setting global financial standards are growing steadily more confident and assertive. Rather than simply set the standards, they are finally making sure they get enforced.

Xavier Vives, 13 March 2012

The global crisis has raised many questions. High on any list would be how regulators and supervisors missed the warning signs so spectacularly, particularly those responsible for overseeing the dangerously exposed financial system. This column, by one of CESifo’s European Economic Advisory Group, provides a diagnosis of the problem and outlines what can be done about it.

Adrian Blundell-Wignall, Paul E Atkinson, 29 February 2012

It wasn’t long ago that people were blaming banks, not governments – and the issue of the day was financial regulation, not fiscal compacts. This column, the second of two, focuses on the Basel framework for banking regulation that it argues has led to a ‘vast, poorly diversified, highly interconnected banking system’. In this section it outlines how to put this right.

Adrian Blundell-Wignall, Paul E Atkinson, 28 February 2012

Amid the chaos of the Eurozone crisis, the debate over how to fix the banking system has been pushed to one side. This column, the first of two, aims to bring banking regulation back to the centre of attention. It argues that the Basel III regulations currently being proposed are already desperately out of date.

Manmohan Singh, 22 January 2012

Regulators around the world are looking to regulate derivatives. This column argues, however, that current proposals for centralised counterparties are misguided. Instead of reducing risk in the notorious over-the-counter derivatives markets, they may simply shift it around. It calls for a tax on the derivative liabilities of large banks to tackle the problem at its source.

Victor Ginsburgh, 16 January 2012

Economists have shown that wine tasters can’t tell Bordeaux from budget plonk, movie critics are prone to giving biased reviews, and Olympic judges are often judging what’s best for them to say rather than what’s in front of them. This column asks why we should expect credit-rating agencies, with their own unique set of ignorance and incentives, to be any different.

Morris Goldstein, 11 January 2012

Throughout the European debt soap opera, Europe’s leaders have expressed their willingness to “do whatever it takes” to restore stability and save the euro. This column argues that, too often, policymakers have in fact been “doing whatever it takes” to serve the banks.

Nicolas Véron, 22 December 2011

Despite emergency summits and last-minute reforms, there is still a large question mark hanging over the euro. This column argues that a chief cause of this is the management of Europe’s banks. It epitomises many of the contradictions at the heart of the Eurozone and unless resolved could be the cause of a slow and painful death of the single currency.

Oliver Bush, Katie Farrant, 21 December 2011

According to the architects, the latest financial regulations are designed to reduce the risks from large global capital flows – a key driver of the global crisis. But this column argues that such reforms do not go far enough and that the increasing risk of a second global financial crisis stemming from the Eurozone debacle re-emphasises the need for more changes.

Thorsten Beck, Wolf Wagner, Radomir Todorov, 07 January 2012

The global crisis has pushed government finances to breaking point. Forced to bailout their domestic banks, they have come to realise some harsh truths in the words: “Banks are international in life and national in death”. This column explores whether a supranational financial supervisor might be able to alleviate the pressures on national regulators and governments, particularly in Europe, and what barriers lie in the way.

Zoltan Pozsar, 16 November 2011

The shadow banking system is vast; but why did it arise? Some view it as regulatory arbitrage while others view it as the market fulfilling investors’ demand for ‘riskless’ assets. This column explains the issues and discusses policy options.

Charles Goodhart, 31 October 2011

As protestors occupy Wall Street and financial centres around the world, among the grievances are “socially useless” investment banks. This column argues, however, that investment banking is critical to any effective economy – the idea that policymakers can safeguard retail banking alone is not only tragically mistaken but also horribly dangerous.

Viral Acharya, 23 September 2011

Viral Acharya of New York University talks to Viv Davies about the recent report issued by the UK's Independent Commission on Banking. They discuss capital requirements and the proposal to ringfence bank’s retail versus investment activities. They also discuss the likely costs of the proposals and what the implications may be for competition in the banking sector. Acharya stresses in particular the importance of appropriate risk weights even with ringfencing, especially in context of the current Eurozone debt crisis. The interview was recorded on 16 September 2011. [Also read the transcript]

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