Europeans Unhappy Over High American Capital Standards

| Mon Mar. 10, 2014 3:20 PM EDT

The Fed has adopted rules that require foreign banks operating in the US to maintain the same capital standards as US banks. German bankers are unhappy about this:

In comments prepared for a speech in Berlin Monday, Andreas Dombret said that recent U.S. regulatory initiatives, "such as the enhanced standards for bank holding companies and foreign banking organizations, worry me. They seem to contradict the need for international cooperation."

....The Fed recently approved new rules that force the largest international banks operating in America to establish U.S.-based "intermediate holding companies," which will be subject to the same capital and liquidity requirements as domestic banks....European bankers have sharply criticized the move. "This is a considerable competitive handicap for European banks, as their U.S. competitors aren't subject to any equivalent requirements in the EU," said Michael Kemmer, head of the Association of German Banks last month.

Well, in that case, I recommend that the EU raise its capital standards and then subject American banks to it. Instead, last month they decided to ease leverage standards. I guess they've already forgotten what things looked like back in 2010. In case you have too, the chart on the right tells the story.

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