Mittwoch, 17. Februar 2016

Kleine Banken

... eine regulatorisch erzwungene Verkleinerung der Banken schlägt Neel Kashkari von der Fed vor.

Die F.A.Z. berichtet über eine Rede an der Brookings Institution. Die ganze Rede gibt es hier. Der wichtige Teil als Auszug:
"I believe we need to complete the important work that my colleagues are doing so that, at a minimum, we are as prepared as we can be to deal with an individual large bank failure. But given the enormous costs that would be associated with another financial crisis and the lack of certainty about whether these new tools would be effective in dealing with one, I believe we must seriously consider bolder, transformational options. Some other Federal Reserve policymakers have noted the potential benefits to considering more transformational measures.6 I believe we must begin this work now and give serious consideration to a range of options, including the following:
  • Breaking up large banks into smaller, less connected, less important entities.
  • Turning large banks into public utilities by forcing them to hold so much capital that they virtually can’t fail (with regulation akin to that of a nuclear power plant).
  • Taxing leverage throughout the financial system to reduce systemic risks wherever they lie.
Options such as these have been mentioned before, but in my view, policymakers and legislators have not yet seriously considered the need to implement them in the near term. They are transformational—which can be unsettling. The financial sector has lobbied hard to preserve its current structure and thrown up endless objections to fundamental change. And in the immediate aftermath of the crisis, when the Dodd-Frank Act was passed, the economic outlook was perhaps too uncertain to take truly bold action. But the economy is stronger now, and the time has come to move past parochial interests and solve this problem. The risks of not doing so are just too great.
Many of the arguments against adoption of a more transformational solution to the problem of TBTF are that the societal benefits of such financial giants somehow justify the exposure to another financial crisis. I find such arguments unpersuasive.
  • Finance lobbyists argue that multinational corporations do business in many countries and therefore need global banks. But these corporations manage thousands of suppliers around the world—can’t they manage a few more banking relationships?
  • Many argue that large banks benefit society by creating economies of scope and scale. No doubt this is true—but cost/benefit analyses require understanding costs, too. I don’t see the benefits of scale of large banks outweighing the massive externalities of a widespread economic collapse.
  • Some argue that if we limited U.S. banks in size or scope, they would be at a disadvantage relative to banks in countries with looser regulations. If other countries want to take extreme risks with their financial systems, we can’t stop them—but the United States should do what is right for our economy and establish one set of rules for those who want to do business here.
Given the complexity of this issue, any bold plan will be imperfect, and there will be unanswered questions that skeptical experts can point to as a reason for inaction: How can we precisely define which firms are dangerous and need to change? How can our plan adapt and endure as the financial system evolves over decades? What if strictly regulating some firms just pushes risk onto other, less regulated firms? How will new rules impact families’ and businesses’ ability to make important investments, and what will that mean for employment and economic growth?
Experts also correctly point out that there is always the possibility that an economic shock could hit us in the future that is so large, or so different from anything we have considered, that it overwhelms all of our efforts. In that scenario, only the balance sheet of the federal government would be strong enough to stabilize the financial system, as was required in 2008.
These are all important considerations, and there are many more. We must work to address them. But if we are serious about solving TBTF, we cannot let them paralyze us. Any plan that we come up with will be imperfect. Those potential shortcomings must be weighed against the actual risks and costs that we know exist today. Perfect cannot be the standard that we must meet before we act."
Kleinere Banken mit höheren Eigenkapitalquoten ... ist das die Zukunft? Mir fehlt ein wenig der Glaube, dass es die Politik schafft sich in diese Richtung zu bewegen.

Update: John Cochrane ist (wenig überraschend) sehr angetan von der Rede.

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