Christine Lagarde gets tough on Wall Street
In our conversation, Lagarde was quick to rebuff some of the bankers’ arguments against stronger financial regulation. When I asked her whether the weak world economy was a reason to delay tougher rules, she was uncompromising, repeating her point twice for emphasis: “It’s always the wrong time here. It’s always the wrong time.”
She was equally firm when I ventured the complaint of some US banks that the contested Basel III regulations that set rules for banks around the world were anti-American and placed an unfair burden on US Companies. “You know, when I was sitting on the other side of the pond, I heard exactly the same story from the European banks, that it was anti-European and overly pro-American,” Lagarde said. “So I’m sure there must be something right about it. I think the Basel committee is trying to do as good a job as it can and is trying to resist the pressure. I certainly hope that it continues doing so.”
It is just a little more than four years since a financial crisis ripped apart the world economy, destroying millions of jobs and stunting millions of lives. Those wounds are still so fresh that you may be surprised to learn that banks, whose risky behavior caused the crash in the first place, would be putting up much of a fight at all against tighter rules. “It’s human nature,” Lagarde
Be the first to comment.