The months that followed the German invasion of Poland in 1939 were quiet ­ in western Europe at least. Troops and equipment were shunted from one place to another, plans were drawn up, the wheels of the propaganda machine began to turn. It was referred to in the US as "the phoney war".

Something similar is happening with regard to Basel III's credit value adjustment (CVA) charge. The capital add-on doesn't bite until the start of 2013, but regulators, dealers and clients are already marshalling

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