Too-big-to-fail: de EU versus de VS

Morris Goldstein van het Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington en Nicolas Véron van Breughel in Brussel hebben dit artikel geschreven met als titel ”too big to fail: the transatlantic debate’. Het stuk eindigt met een serie opties om systeembanken minder systeembank te maken. Maar dat is niet het meest interessante aan het stuk. Dat is het inzicht in de verschillen tussen de EU en de VS dat het biedt. Het stuk maakt onder meer de volgende twee punten:

(1) In Europa is een groter deel van de bancaire sector systeemrelevant dan in de VS. Dit zegt het paper erover:

EU-headquartered banks are comparatively larger than their US counterparts, especially when measured by assets. IFSL (2010) research reports that of the worldwide assets of the 1,000 largest banks in 2008-09, EU banks had the largest share at 56 percent versus 13 percent for US banks and 14 percent for Asian banks. (…) measured in terms of assets to home country GDP, the largest EU banks are much larger, and thus even more likely to be considered TBTF, than their largest US counterparts. As shown in table 2, ratios of top-three or top-five bank assets to GDP show  a considerable increase in the size of the largest banks since 1990 (earliest available) in all nine of the large advanced economies included in the sample. As noted earlier, for more than two-thirds of the cases this increase in the size of the largest banks relative to the size of the economy also continued during the recent crisis (where 2006 represents the precrisis observation and 2009 the latest one).

(2) In de VS gaan ze veel verder dan in Europa met het introduceren van maatregelen om SIFIs – jargon voor  systeembanken – te reguleren. Dit zeggen ze in het paper erover:

In the United States, the July 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act, 2010) contains a host of provisions targeted at the regulation and supervision of SIFIs (Davis-Polk, 2010), including, inter alia, stipulations that:

  • once designated, systemically important nonbank financial companies must register with the Federal Reserve within 180 days;
  •  the Federal Reserve is required to establish enhanced risk-based capital, leverage, and liquidity requirements, overall risk management requirements, resolution plans, credit exposure reporting, concentration limits and prompt corrective action to apply to systemically important bank and nonbank financial firms;
  • the enhanced prudential standards will also apply to US operations of foreign bank holding companies, although it is not yet known whether such provisions will apply extraterritorially to the foreign parent;
  • subject to some exceptions and a transition period, any ‘banking entity’ will be prohibited from engaging in proprietary trading or sponsoring and investing in a hedge fund or private equity fund; systemically important nonbank financial companies, while not prohibited from engaging in such activities, will be required to carry additional capital and comply with certain other quantitative limits on such activities (part one of the so-called ‘Volcker Rule’);
  • any insured depository institution or systemically important nonbank financial company will be prohibited from merging or acquiring substantially all the assets or control of another company if the resulting company’s total consolidated liabilities would exceed 10 percent of the aggregate consolidated liabilities of all financial companies at the end of the prior calendar year (part two of the Volcker Rule); and
  • systemically important nonbank financial companies and large, interconnected bank companies will be required to prepare and maintain extensive rapid and orderly resolution plans, which must be approved by the Federal Reserve and the FDIC.
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