Semantic antics


What followed was very special indeed – presentations on breakthroughs in op risk modelling, panel discussions on the practical realities of getting business lines to co-operate, and about as much frankness as the regulators could achieve, under the circumstances.

My favourite moment came at the end, when I asked if there was any news about the US Basel II timetable. No-one had asked so far, despite the fact that it was the one thing that everyone was dying to know.

Roger Cole, senior associate director at the Fed, attempted a humorous coyness, and said, "I think these efforts we have underway will be productive in an expeditious manner."

A mischievous Eric Rosengren, senior vice-president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, shot back, "I think you’ve been taking lessons from chairman Greenspan".

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