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 It argues that the Basel III regulations currently being proposed are already desperately out of date.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]

Donato Masciandaro, 16 September 2011

Credit-rating agencies have come in for strong criticism for their role in the global crisis. This column asks whether by communicating their opinions rating agencies can make a crisis worse and outlines some of the policy implications if they do.

Viral Acharya, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Enrico Perotti, 14 September 2011

Liquidity risk – which was at the heart of the September 2008 financial meltdown and explains regulatory concerns about a Greek default today – remains an open issue in financial regulatory reform. This column presents a consensus view of several leading academics on what more needs to be done to close this regulatory gap.

Roger Alford, 12 September 2011

Ever since public money was used to bail out banks, the public has been demanding change in the way they are run. This is particularly the case in the UK, where the Independent Banking Commission presents its final report today. If it calls for a breakup of Britain’s banks into deposit and investment banks, this column argues that to follow such advice would be a grave mistake.

Mark Mink, 31 August 2011

While central bank liquidity support is used on a large scale to combat the instability of the banking sector, this column argues that the prospect of receiving such support might well have been one of the causes of the instability. In particular, it shows that the provision of liquidity support stimulates banks to engage in various forms of risk-taking, and to do so in a procyclical way.

Charles Goodhart, 30 August 2011

The calls for better bank regulation are many. This column argues that regulators have the concepts right, but the mechanisms are in need of repair.

Tim Besley, Maitreesh Ghatak, 27 August 2011

As we approach three years since the fall of Lehman Brothers, the incentives that led the financial sector to take on too much risk still exist. This column argues that they will remain so long as governments continue to provide an implicit guarantee that banks will be bailed out. To tackle this, the authors dare to propose a tax on bonuses.

Enrico Perotti, Lev Ratnovski, Razvan Vlahu, 26 August 2011

As leading economists in Jackson Hole and Lindau call for more and better regulation to avoid a repeat global crisis, this column argues that higher bank capital, while essential, will be no panacea. In particular, it shows that tail risk often goes unaddressed. Regulators should therefore adopt direct tools for dealing with tail risk, including limits on asset and liability-side risk exposures.

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