The Great Debate

Easier jawboning banks than leery borrowers

December 15, 2009

(James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

Jawbone all you like, but we are in a private sector de-leveraging, and bank lending and demand will remain weak, making interest rates unlikely to rise any time soon.

UK bonus tax both cynical and justified

December 10, 2009

(James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

A cynical election maneuver it may well be, but Britain’s plan to impose a punitive tax on bonus payments is also reasonably well crafted and in broad terms justified.

from The Great Debate UK:

When firms “Too Big to Fail” fall

November 5, 2009

Amid the turmoil of the 2008 financial crisis a myriad of events unfolded that the general public knew nothing about, writes New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin in a new book titled "Too Big to Fail."

from The Great Debate UK:

It’s all over: The banks have won

September 21, 2009

Laurence Copeland- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

from Rolfe Winkler:

Ending the off-balance sheet charade

September 17, 2009

Investors have more than one reason to celebrate two new accounting rules. Besides forcing banks to fess up to the risks they are carrying on their books, new standards for off-balance sheet assets will make it harder for companies to inflate earnings artificially.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Break up the big banks

September 15, 2009

President Barack Obama pledged on Monday "to put an end to the idea that some firms are 'too big to fail.'"  Though he outlined some worthy prescriptions, he failed to face up to the very size and power of the financial institutions that makes "too big to fail" possible.

from Commentaries:

Securitization survives the fall

September 11, 2009

A year after the government's seizure of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG , not to mention the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers that sent the global financial system into a tailspin, very little has changed to prevent debt from being sliced and diced, again and again.

China’s banks, running hard to stand still

By Wei Gu
August 14, 2009

wei-gu.jpg— Wei Gu is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own —

Chinese banks are like enthusiastic runners on an accelerating treadmill. The weakening economy means poor lending decisions are threatening to catch up with them, but the banks are sprinting ahead by expanding their loan books ever faster. They cannot keep this up for ever.

from Commentaries:

Geithner of Oz

August 13, 2009

Earlier today I wrote that Sheila Bair is one of the few financial regulators who gets it. And by getting it, I mean not sucking up to the banks and the big money interests on Wall Street. You know, the guys (and most of them are guys), who got us into this financial mess. Tim Geithner, on the other hand, is a regulator who just doesn't get it.

How the bailout feeds bloated banker pay

August 13, 2009

jamessaft1— James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own —

Rising pay in the finance sector in the wake of the global financial crisis is no surprise and is driven partly by the government’s bailout itself and the underwriting of banks that are too big to fail.