Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Big Whimper

Britain's Government-appointed banking commission has unveiled the most radical shake-up of industry regulation in a generation in an attempt to make banks safer and better value for consumers.
You probably can't see it from this angle but I've actually got an MBA, with a particular focus on International Finance, from what was then the City University Business School. I believe that my research on Delayed Cash and Carry Arbitrage Opportunities on the New York Mercantile Exchange is still occasionally prescribed to insomniacs by GPs.

I was actually in harness 0n 27 October 1986, the the London Stock Exchange's rules changed in what was known as "Big Bang Day" because of the increase in market activity expected from an aggregation of measures designed to precipitate a complete alteration in the structure of the market.

Without labouring the point the destruction of the distinction between retail and investment banks on that day is, in essence what Sir John Vickers is blaming for a lot of 2008's fiascoes and proposing to reverse. Why doesn't anyone talk about this?

For myself; the root of the problem is massive institutions playing the markets as principals. Back in the day, if lowly capitalized merchant banks burnt their fingers doing that they were the ones getting hurt. When Lloyds did it with your granny's life savings the fallout went further.

I could write more about this but I am losing the will to live. Regulatory frameworks are tedious beyond belief.

Prodnose: If we had a wartime consigliere, a Sicilian, we wouldn't be in this shape?

Myself: It's a simplification, but yes. "Who's watching the store?" is the question to ask.

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