The big meeting this morning between global bankers and regulators is exactly the meeting I was hoping would happen. A large group of bold-face names such as Larry Summers, Brian Moynihan, Alistair Darling, and Mario Draghi, meeting behind closed doors, reportedly came to the obvious yet necessary conclusion that, in the words of Darling, “we are agreed that whatever we do, it needs to be universal. You’re dealing with a global banking system. You need a common approach across the world”. And some good news is slowly emerging: already regulators and banks seem to be coalescing around the need to create a wind-down fund which would allow the orderly resolution of insolvent banks.
Every so often at Davos you have a short, startling conversation which completely changes the way you think about a subject — and I just had one of those standing next to Dan Barber, the chef of Blue Hill Farm. He’s a very smart, very funny guy, who’s passionate about food on every level from preparing the ingredients of the dishes in his restaurants to the logistics of feeding the planet.
I’ll be doing a live video interview with Nouriel Roubini here on Reuters.com in a couple of hours (6:20pm Davos time, 5:20pm GMT, 12:20pm ET), asking him questions from readers. So if you have anything you want me to ask him, leave a comment on this blog or on the liveblog, or send a tweet with the #askroubini hashtag. It should be fun!
I’m not a fan of excluding Treasuries from the proposed new bank tax. For one thing, Treasuries are assets, not liabilities: they’re technically not covered by the tax in the first place. What’s really being talked about here is the repo market, which has grown far too big, and which has made it far too easy for banks to borrow money at ultra-short maturities.
This is a great hire: the Huffington Post has brought on Simon Johnson as a contributing business editor, underscoring the way in which the historically staid and boring intersection of politics with economics is pretty much the hottest game in town right now.