A fragile accord

By publicly casting doubt over aspects of the Basel II Accord’s methodology, rating agency Standard & Poor’s is voicing concerns shared by many in the banking industry. Joanne Hart asks how this dispute may affect bondholders and the market in general


It has been said that the cost of implementing the Basel II Accord would add up to more than the equity capital of the entire banking system. While such an anecdote may not stand up to rigorous statistical analysis, it is still symptomatic of attitudes across the industry to Basel II.

Thousands of regulatory experts have spent millions of dollars trying to improve on the standards set by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) when it published Basel I in 1988. But Basel II remains far from

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