glass steagall

Worth reading both The Economist piece, and Clive Crook’s reaction to it. Gems include:

On nomenclature: 

I am reminded of a cartoon on bankers’ bonuses: two men walking along, and one explains to the other: “Apparently, if you don’t pay them enough, they go and bugger up someone else’s business.” If Obama’s proposal is made law, thousands of traders will be out of a job. What will they do?

Swiss central bank governor Phillip Hildebrand has taken a somewhat political stance, defending the universal banking model in an interview with Swiss daily Le Temps. A form of the Glass Steagall Act would not work in Switzerland, he said: wealth management and commercial banking should not be split.

The former banker explained: “The universal banking model represents a form of risk diversification,” quoting difficult periods in the 1980s when one side of the bank had been able to bail out the other. He added that ultra-rich customers needed the full range of investment banking services, for instance to help with mergers and acquisitions involving companies they owned. 

Some consensus among the American media that extending the US housing tax credit is a bad idea. And a conflict between those who think banks should be made smaller, and legislators, who are currently pursuing a strategy of better monitoring and increased powers over big banks