Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Banking fragility remains an issue

A certain complacency seems to have set into the banking sector following the reforms put in place after the financial crisis of 2007. Bank managers especially think that banks are safe now, thanks to the combination of higher capital requirements and living wills. Jamie Dimon, chairman of J P Morgan Chase, typies this point of view.

I am among those who would beg to defer. Banks may be better placed than before but banking systems remains fragile. Regulators need to raise the capital requirements even further. The minimum leverage ratio (the ratio of equity to assets) for banks is general is 3%; for systemically important banks, it's 5-6%. The US Congress has a proposal which would give banks a choice of going with Basel 3 and the Dodd-Frank provisions or having a leverage ratio of 10%. The latter is indeed the way to go.

More in my EPW article, Are banks safer today than before the crisis.

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