Is Global Financial Reform Possible?

Nowadays there is ample evidence that financial systems, whether in Asia in the 1990’s or a decade later in the United States and Europe, are vulnerable to breakdowns. But, in the absence of international consensus on some key points, reform will be greatly weakened, if not aborted.

HONG KONG – Nowadays there is ample evidence that financial systems, whether in Asia in the 1990’s or a decade later in the United States and Europe, are vulnerable to breakdowns. The cost in interrupted growth and unemployment has been intolerably large.

But, in the absence of international consensus on some key points, reform will be greatly weakened, if not aborted. The freedom of money, financial markets, and people to move – and thus to escape regulation and taxation – might be an acceptable, even constructive, brake on excessive official intervention, but not if a deregulatory race to the bottom prevents adoption of needed ethical and prudential standards.

Perhaps most important is a coherent, consistent approach to dealing with the imminent failure of “systemically important” institutions. Taxpayers and governments alike are tired of bailing out creditors for fear of the destructive contagious effects of failure – even as bailouts encourage excessive risk taking.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

http://prosyn.org/w3fkZIt;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.