Wikinvest Wire

Stiglitz: Banks worse than before crisis

Monday, September 14, 2009

As reported at Bloomberg, there are still some people out there who are able to look past the surge in stock prices and the billions of dollars of TARP money that has been repaid, questioning whether the banking system has changed in any substantive way.

Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, said the U.S. has failed to fix the underlying problems of its banking system after the credit crunch and the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

“In the U.S. and many other countries, the too-big-to-fail banks have become even bigger,” Stiglitz said in an interview yesterday in Paris. “The problems are worse than they were in 2007 before the crisis.”

Stiglitz’s views echo those of former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who has advised President Barack Obama’s administration to curtail the size of banks, and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, who suggested last month that governments may want to discourage financial institutions from growing “excessively.”

A year after the demise of Lehman forced the Treasury Department to spend billions to shore up the financial system, Bank of America Corp.’s assets have grown and Citigroup Inc. remains intact. In the U.K., Lloyds Banking Group Plc, 43 percent owned by the government, has taken over the activities of HBOS Plc, and in France BNP Paribas SA now owns the Belgian and Luxembourg banking assets of insurer Fortis.
You don't hear much from Paul Volcker any more. That's not a good thing.

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