Prospects for two-tiered banking regulation in Europe
The European Union’s complex and lengthy set of rules for banks is putting a burden on small lenders, which often form the backbone of a country’s banking sector. The solution, some propose, is to have a two-tiered system in which the banks that are “too big to fail” must follow the most stringent regulations, while simpler, less complicated rules apply to the smaller players. Such a system is already being used in the United States. Could Europe follow?
Opinion: Property rights and the challenges of transplanting institutions
Since the time of Adam Smith, economists have understood that the wealth or poverty of nations hinge on the quality of their institutions. Political, economic and social rules of the game can be inclusive, offering opportunities for prosperity to all, or extractive, protecting the rents of a few. But the international effort to introduce one such rule – formal property rights – shows that even simple changes can have complex and unwelcome effects in alien cultural settings.
‘Basel IV’ and the stability of the financial industry
The Basel Committee on Bank Supervision has rolled out new recommendations that most international banks are expected to follow. Many in the industry criticize the rules’ complexity and restrictiveness, but regulators say they don’t go far enough. Everyone agrees, however, that more regulations are soon to come. In the meantime, the stability of the global financial system remains uncertain.
The long ‘bridge’ of carbon capture and storage technology
Reducing carbon emissions to reach environmental goals will require many different approaches, not just a transition to renewable energy sources. One important technology is carbon capture and storage, or CCS. Its potential for reducing CO2 emissions is significant, but high costs and uncertainties are slowing its development.
‘Overbanking’ in Europe
While American banks recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, lenders in Europe have languished. Contrasting regulatory approaches and economic environments account for some of the differences, but European banking authorities have their own explanation: “overbanking.” Their reasoning is odd, not least because the European Union’s banking sector is shrinking.
The benefits of global tax games
The growth of global trade and rise of more sophisticated financial products from the late 1970s has encouraged in tax arbitrage by multinational firms and tax competition between governments. This phenomenon has become a fixation of global governance do-gooders and bureaucrats. Their seemingly innocuous push for international tax coordination and transparency, however, will have costs that are hard to measure.
No easy way back for U.S. manufacturing
President Donald Trump declared on October 1 that the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico signifies the return of the United States as a “manufacturing powerhouse.” U.S. manufacturing has indeed changed dramatically since 1992, when the three countries signed their original trade pact. But the complex and varied factors that have reshaped factory production in the U.S. cannot be summarily reversed.
Orderly failure: The EU’s Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive
After the 2008-2009 financial crisis, governments are wary about bailing out distressed banks with taxpayer money. But the bail-in procedures implemented in 2016 by the European Union, while helping minimize some risks, have their own drawbacks. If new proposals are adopted to give resolution authorities more preemptive powers, they will give technocrats unprecedented control over the banking industry.