Category Archives: Banking industry

Banker Farce: Spanish Bank CEO Launches Moral Crusade Against Political Corruption

“We have to fight corruption in order to build a new model of more sustainable and fairer growth.”

These laudable words came from the least likely of mouths – that of Francisco González, CEO of Spanish banking giant Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA). González was speaking at the bank’s annual shareholder meeting, held last week in Bilbao.

BBVA is Spain’s second biggest bank with operations in more than 30 countries including the U.S., China, Argentina, Columbia and Mexico. It has about 107,000 employees, 47 million customers worldwide, a million shareholders and now, it seems, a moralizing CEO.

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JP Morgan/Madoff Case Puts Spotlight on Use of Lawyers as Investigation-Blockers

Whenever a scandal of sufficient magnitude arises at a bank, it’s standard practice to hire an “independent” third party to conduct an investigation and give a report to senior management and the board. But now even bank friendly regulators are starting to suspect that banks are hiring attorneys do to this work, not to come clean, but to facilitate a cover-up.

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Steve Keen: Godzilla Banks are Good for You?

Yves here. Although Keen’s use of the Godzilla metaphor is fun, the unvarnished facts he presents are plenty alarming. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is actually gleeful at the prospect that England’s banking sector might grow to be as large relative to its economy as Iceland’s and Cyprus’ on the eve of their busts. But even worse, Carney’s enthusiasm for a banking sector that continues with its cancerous (or as Keen would have it, monstrous) growth gives license to bank lobbyists in the US and Europe to press for high rates of growth in their finance sectors so as to defend their national champions.

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Quelle Surprise! Banks Are Opposed to More Liquid Markets When They Don’t Make Enough From Them

Bloomberg has an intriguing story about a bit of lobbying the big dealer banks are engaged in via a group called the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, which represents 15 out of the total of 22 primary dealers (a primary dealer, among other things, gets to bid for its own account at Treasury bond auctions). Of course, the object of their efforts is to improve their profitability, here by putting parties they regard as competitors at more of a disadvantage.

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Matt Stoller: Greta Krippner’s “Capitalizing on Crisis” Describes Real Origins of Financial Deregulation

ves here. Having lived through some of these developments, I concur with Krippner’s observation that financial deregulation was well underway prior to the Reagan era and the most important driver was interest rate volatility, which wreaked havoc with interest rate caps and other policies that made sense only if inflation stayed within a limited and not all that high range. But similar deregulatory forces were underway in the securities industry side as well.

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