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  1. 09 Jun '10 00:49

    Simon Johnson

    MIT Professor and co-author of 13 Bankers
    Posted: June 6, 2010 09:35 PM

    Richard Fisher, Senior Fed Official: White House Is Dead Wrong

    Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Fed, has long been a proponent of serious financial sector reform. As a former commercial banker, he sees quite clearly that the legislation now headed into "reconciliation" between House and Senate versions amounts to very little. He also knows that pounding away repeatedly on this theme is the best way to influence his colleagues within the Fed and across the policy community more broadly.

    He is now taking his game to a new, higher level. Couched in the diplomatic language of senior officials, his speech on June 3 to the SW Graduate School of Banking was both a carefully calibrated assault on the administration's general "softly, softly" approach to the big banks and a direct refutation of arguments put forward by Larry Summers in particular.

    As the title of Mr. Fisher's speech implies, if the legislation is not real financial reform (and it is not, according to him), then our current policy trajectory amounts to facilitating further rounds of financial dementia.

    As a statement of our true problems -- dismissing the red herrings and focusing on the core issues -- Mr. Fisher's speech is a succinct classic. Cutting to the chase:

  2. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    09 Jun '10 02:19 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    ........ Mr. Fisher's speech is a succinct classic...
    Can you explain exactly what his refutation of the - systemic collapse- looks like TBTF 'hollow argument' means?

    As the argument goes, breaking up big banks may be necessary but is possibly not sufficient—policymakers still must grapple with the possibility of many smaller banks getting into trouble at the same time, causing a “systemic” problem.

    I consider this argument hollow for a few reasons.

    First, even if this possibility turned out to be true, the threat of a loss from more isolated difficulties would mean creditors could reasonably expect losses in certain circumstances—a situation unlike TBTF.(to big to fail)