Dead in the water?

The most recent phase of the financial crisis has caused some to question whether Basel II will survive in its current form. Governments are insisting banks hold higher capital levels than Basel II calculations require, while pressure is on the Basel Committee to incorporate new guidelines on stress testing, leverage and counterparty risk. Is Basel II in its current form dead? By John Ferry


George Soros didn't mince his words. "Basel II, which delegated authority for calculating risk to the financial institutions themselves, was an aberration and has to be abandoned," he told a congressional committee meeting in Washington, DC last month. Strong words indeed, but were they fair? Given the years of hard work, the endless meetings, consultations and studies, not to mention the astronomical costs of implementation, calls for abandonment will no doubt annoy those involved in the Basel

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