In an interview, ex-FDIC chief Sheila Bair says weakening the post-crisis rules is wrongheaded and that a Monte Paschi-type event could happen again.
As 2019 draws to a close, there’s more than a whiff of banking deregulation in the air. The U.S. has relaxed its lender stress tests and made it easier again for Wall Street to trade using its own funds. In Europe, capital requirements are being softened.
The reining in of bank risk after the financial crisis is giving way to a loosening of the rules just as the desperation for yield makes banks more willing to gamble. This seems imprudent: Although banks are safer than they were before Lehman Brothers imploded, critical weaknesses remain.