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Alternative Market Briefing

Update: banks win on softening Basel III, global economy still losing

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

In December, I reported on the recent announcement by both the US and the EU that they would need more time to implement Basel III, the latest round in regulatory risk management from the Bank of International Settlements(BIS). In the piece, we noted that even though US banks waited until the eleventh hour to ask for an ease in capital requirements proposed under the regulatory scheme, the response indicated some willingness to be flexible. On Sunday, following a meeting of bank governors, the BIS issued an announcement that said in essence, that the banks won. Banks now have until 2019 to become fully compliant with a softened Basel III - a move which will likely result in the rules becoming even more soft before then, as the world learns how unstable the banking system and global economy continues to be.

US banks have raised about half of what they would need to, to meet the capital requirements outlined under the previous rules. The EU, Brazil and the UK are also a bit short leaving primarily emerging markets and China, as those who were prepared to abide with the original January 1, 2013 implementation. The easing of these rules announced on January 6 includes expanded definitions of the quality and type of assets that can be counted to meet capital requirements in addition to the revised......................

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