The Great Debate UK
-Laurence Copeland is professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own and do not constitute investment advice. -
I have just reread the blog I wrote for this column last September. A year has gone by, and neither the title – “It’s All Over: the Banks Have Won” – nor the rest of it seem out of date. In fact, last weekend’s Basel III deal looks very much like the final surrender by the authorities.
It is not simply a matter of the feebleness of the reserve requirements and the ease with which they will be emasculated by arbitrage, nor the fact that the regulators have given the banks a few years to satisfy them – “Please Lord, make us prudent…..but not yet”.
Rather, it is the way the banks have so easily fought off any attempt at more radical reform, and in particular their success in silencing the calls to enforce a separation of retail from investment banking and to break up the biggest groups into units which are no longer Too Big To Fail.