The idea of imposing a levy on large financial firms is a “flawed policy”, with economic costs outweighing any potential benefits, according to a recent white paper prepared by Washington, DC-based Nera Economic Consulting.
The white paper, prepared for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, was distributed to members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs last month. Democrats and Republicans on the committee are wrangling over proposals for financial regulatory reform.
In December, the House Financial Services Committee passed measures requiring large financial firms to contribute to a fund that would be used in case systemically important firms collapse. Banks with assets of more than $50 billion and hedge funds with assets of more than $10 billion would be made to contribute to the so-called systemic dissolution fund.
According to the white paper, “such a process is not only subject to gaming by firms, but is conceptually flawed”. Its application would result in a distortion of the market for financial services, increased costs for consumers, greater systemic risk and even job losses, it says.
The white paper’s chief argument is that size should not be equated with systemic risk, despite the fact the most significant recipients of bailout cash have been larger firms. “In essence, a perceived correlation between institution size and bailouts is stretched to reach the conclusion that size equals systemic risk,” says the white paper.
Liquidity risk is another important factor, the white paper adds. Firms with liquidity mismatches – investment banks that support long-term assets with short-dated wholesale funding, for instance – pose a greater systemic risk, it says.
Furthermore, companies that are less transparent about their operations are also more likely to pose a systemic risk, as this will have an impact on the willingness of investors to continue holding debt and equity in those firms.
More on Regulation
Matherat to Deutsche, O'Malia to Isda - regulatory moves worry some
Record-breaking settlement between Bank of America and US federal and state entities
Top regulators want FSB to fix clash between reporting rules and privacy laws
Chair of Lords subcommittee says UK neglect of Europe is "criminal"
Loomis Sayles vice-chairman discusses the US credit markets
The US has recovered from recession but still faces an enormous debt burden. The onus is now on companies to pick up the slack in the economy and keep bonds buoyant
The head of European credit portfolio management at Pimco talks to Credit's Alex Monro about the ongoing Eurozone crisis, and the likely investment themes for 2011.
The European securitisation markets were among the hardest hit by the financial crisis: large losses on a range of securitised products led to a drop-off in investor demand, while prohibitive spreads made...
There are no comments submitted yet. Do you have an interesting opinion? Then be the first to post a comment.