This week, a group of mostly pale, bespectacled men gathered along the banks of Rhine, hoping to mark the 10-year anniversary of the beginning of the financial crisis by finalizing rules for banks designed to prevent the next one. And they are so close: There’s just one thing left to do, and that’s the set minimum capital requirements.
"The committee continues to make progress in reaching agreement on the output floor, including at this week's BCBS meeting," Basel Committee Chair Stefan Ingves said in a statement.
"Importantly, there is a keen desire among all BCBS member organisations to bring this to a conclusion as soon as possible."
One can forgive him for it, but it seems Mr. Ingves may be a bit too optimistic. For it seems that the one part of banking regulation that the Trump administration and its allies like—high capital requirements—is the one that the normally eager-to-regulate French and Germans don’t. On the other hand, the Americans are less thrilled about certain rules that have already been agreed upon.
The U.S. Treasury published a review of regulation on Monday which recommended delaying two core Basel III rules already agreed….
A banking source said those comments from the Treasury may have soured the mood at this week's Basel meeting. "The Europeans don't want the United States to use Basel to punish them," the banker said.
And yet, here we are: Steve Mnuchin & co. are pushing hard for the parts that will Make American Banks Great Again by Making European Banks Worse, while blithely planning to ignore the parts that don’t Make American Banks Great Again. Progress, indeed.
ECB’s Villeroy Says Bank Capital Talks Must Be Wrapped Up [Reuters via NYT]
Basel says making progress on new bank capital rules [Reuters]