+++ 8. Dezember 2016 +++
Glass-Steagall Works in China, and Will Be Strengthened
China's banking system has, by some estimates, issued $20 trillion in credit for economic expansion since 2008. At the same time, it has kept the exposure to derivatives down to a very small amount, contrary to the "too-big-to-fail banks" in the trans-Atlantic world.
One good reason for that is that China introduced a legislative separation of commercial banks from shadow banks on the Glass-Steagall model in 1993. In 2012, according to the BIS, China's banks had just $1.4 trillion in nominal derivatives exposure, or about 0.33% of the global total. The amount has grown somewhat since then, which has led the authorities to propose to toughen the already tough restrictions on commercial banks' derivatives trading.
Indeed, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) circulated the proposed new regulations on Nov. 28, which, according to Xinhua, set much more detailed guidelines on how banks must calculate their financial exposure to counterparty risk, in both exchange-traded options/futures and over-the-counter derivative contracts on interest rates, etc. The new rules raise the bank's capital reserve requirements for derivatives positions, Xinhua reports, and, "compared with current requirements, set clear standards on what risk factors should take precedence under which circumstances. This reduces ambiguity that has been exploited by some banks to understate the risk they actually face in the derivatives business."
The debate in China on introducing bank separation was described by Li Gang, former deputy chairman of the People's Bank of China, in one chapter of a book published in 2010. At the opening stage of reform in 1991, he explained, China had adopted the model of universal banking under which a commercial bank was allowed to operate brokerage insurance business. But, when "economic overheating" and "financial chaos" appeared at the end of June 1993, "policymakers held mixed operation partly to blame and decided to draw on the U.S. experience of separating commercial banking from investment banking."
Over 10 years later, Li Gang continues, he himself and other economists proposed going back to universal banking. But the trans-Atlantic financial blowout of 2007-08 settled the issue again – in favor of the Glass-Steagall principle.
Unfortunately, the same "good sense" was not shown in the United States and Europe, as evidenced in a few figures: JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank both have an exposure of over $50 trillion in derivatives, or about 20% of the global total, while Citigroup and Bank of America are not far behind.
~ deutsch + english ~
+++ 21. Dezember 2016 +++
Terror: Obama Issues Threats to Kill
On receiving the first reports, on Dec. 19, of the assassination of Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov in Turkey, American economist Lyndon LaRouche declared: “Put Obama on the list of suspects.”