The Barnier proposal on banking regulation: whence the wrath?

By Jean-Paul Pollin (Université d’Orléans) and Jean-Luc Gaffard

This time the evidence is there and it’s irrefutable: the reaction of the French “authorities” to the proposed structural reform of Europe’s banking sector proves that their law on the so-called “separation of banking activities” was nothing but a false pretence, a ruse to head off the European Commission’s initiatives in this field (see this OFCE blog). It was also an occasion for them to smoothly undercut the report by Bourget, whose most striking passage was the denunciation of finance as the “invisible enemy”, followed by its promise to create distance between deposit banks and trading banks (finance and investment banks). Continue reading “The Barnier proposal on banking regulation: whence the wrath?”

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Is it pointless to separate banking activities?

Jean-Luc Gaffard  and  Jean-Paul Pollin

It is at the European level that the last chance for a structural reform of the banking system can be found, that is to say, a separation between investment banking and retail banking. If we are to believe the banking industry and certain academic circles, such a separation is at best useless and at worst harmful. Separating risky activities from non-risky activities, or non-speculative activities from speculative activities, would, it is held, prove illusory. All banking activity is risky, if not speculative. Continue reading “Is it pointless to separate banking activities?”

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