Plan for bank capital buffers needs fine-tuning

July 19, 2010

Countercyclical capital buffers are a good idea. Before the financial crisis, banks held capital in reserve for expected losses, but did not set anything extra aside as credit conditions became frothier. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's new consultation document wants to change this. But its initial proposals raise numerous questions.

China faces self-imposed lending crunch

By Wei Gu
June 14, 2010

Chinese banks have got in the habit of lending more than is necessary to keep up the nation's growth rate. This year, they may not be able to lend enough.

Bank upstarts’ rapid growth needs careful policing

September 6, 2013

Peer-to-peer lending is a rare example of genuine financial innovation. Internet lenders are faster, more transparent and less systemically risky. Still, the sector’s new UK regulator should watch for signs that the lenders are starting to look, and act, too much like banks.

China’s looming output glut

October 22, 2009

China may deserve a round of applause for notching economic growth of 8.9 percent while most of its peers struggle with recession. On reflection, however, this thumping growth rate is less of a boon for the rest of the world.

The FDIC tries a new gimmick

September 29, 2009

In the latest government gimmick to protect bank capital, the FDIC plans to replenish its Deposit Insurance Fund by front-loading regular premiums in lieu of another "special assessment." The good news is that the fund gets replenished and taxpayers don't foot the bill. The bad news is that Sheila Bair is missing a great opportunity to shrink the financial sector.