Is Shadow Banking Dangerous for You?

From hedge funds to mortgage-backed securities, unregulated and risky activities have fallen out of favor since the Lehman Brothers debacle. Aggressive, casino-type behaviors and obscure transactions definitely played an important role in the run up to the financial crisis of 2008. But are all financial activities that operate outside the regular banking system bad? Is […]

Upcoming Change at Banxico: Some Initial Thoughts

December 15th marks the end of Jose Sidaoui’s second term as a member of the governing board of Banxico, Mexico’s central bank. Although Sidaoui could remain for another eight-year term, most insiders believe he will not seek to retain his current position as he has already held the post for 16 years. Like other central […]

European Views on Financial Regulation (and Other American Evils)

I was invited back to the give the welcoming keynote address last week to the 33rd SFOA International Bürgenstock Meeting.  SFOA is an acronym for the Swiss Futures and Option Association and their meeting (long held at Bürgenstock, Switzerland but now at Interlaken) is the preeminent meeting in Europe on financial derivatives.  The meeting attracts […]

Arresting Regulatory Failure in the Financial System

This is not the best of times for global finance. The world economy has been under severe stress following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. The fall of the mighty investment bank was a big blow to the global financial system leading to arguably the worst economic crisis since the great depression of […]

Sheila Bair Visits Occupy Wall Street

Sheila Bair, the former FDIC chairman who heads the Systemic Risk Council, and Ricardo Delfina, a fellow Systemic Risk Council member, met on Sunday with members of several Occupy Wall Street working groups: Occupy Bank, Alternative Banking, and Occupy the SEC. I’ve watched presentations by Bair twice previously: once when she was at the FDIC, another not […]

The Banks Are Bluffing – They Aren’t Moving Anywhere

Yves here. This is a subject near and dear to my heart. Banks occasionally harrumph that if regulators are too mean, they’ll just pack up and go somewhere else. That’s complete bluster as far as TBTF banks are concerned. Any major bank needs to be backstopped by a real central bank. The Caymans don’t begin to cut […]

The Race to the Bottom Produces Regulators Who Are Invertebrates and Epidemics of Fraud

I examine how highly conservative newspapers are covering the interplay of widespread “control frauds” by the world’s most elite banks, the carefully structured de-evolution of financial regulators through descent from the subphylum Vertebrata into the phyla of the invertebrates, and the global failure to prosecute the elite frauds that drove the ongoing financial crisis.  The […]

One Man Against The Wall Street Lobby

Two diametrically opposed views of Wall Street and the dangers posed by global megabanks came more clearly into focus last week.  On the one hand, William B. Harrison, Jr. – former chairman of JP Morgan Chase – argued in the New York Times that today’s massive banks are an essential part of a well-functioning market economy, and not […]

Why Does Wall Street Always Win?

After a long summer of high-profile scandals – JPMorgan Chase trading,Barclays rate-fixing, HSBC money-laundering and more – the debate about the financial sector is becoming livelier. Why has it has become so excessively dominated by relatively few very large companies? What damage can it do to the rest of us? What reasonable policy changes could bring global megabanks more nearly […]

Quelle Surprise! Former JP Morgan Chairman Offers Dubious Defenses of Big Banks

Ordinarily, it might not seem worth the bother to debunk yet another piece of bank propaganda. However Thursday’s op ed by former JP Morgan Chase chairman William Harrison, “Don’t Break Up the Big Banks,” recites a classic set of time-worn canards. As regulatory compliance expert Michael Crimmins said via e-mail, “It’s sounding desperate that they’re […]

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