U.K. to Break Up Biggest Banks

The WSJ reports (on-line): “The U.K.’s top treasury official Sunday said the government is starting a process to rebuild the country’s banking system, likely pressing major divestments from institutions and trying to attract new retail banks to the market.”  The British style is typically understated and policymakers always like to play down radical departures, but this is huge news.

Pressure from the EU has apparently had major impact – worries about unfair competition through subsidizing “too big to fail” banks are very real within the European market place.  Also, strong voices from within the Bank of England have helped to move the consensus.

The US position on protecting everything about our largest banks is starting to look increasingly isolated and out of step with best practice in other industrialized countries.  Time to start planning for the break-up of Citigroup (C).

Photo: andriux-uk

About Simon Johnson 101 Articles

Simon Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT's Sloan School of Management. He is also a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C., a co-founder of BaselineScenario.com, a widely cited website on the global economy, and is a member of the Congressional Budget Office's Panel of Economic Advisers.

Mr. Johnson appears regularly on NPR's Planet Money podcast in the Economist House Calls feature, is a weekly contributor to NYT.com's Economix, and has a video blog feature on The New Republic's website. He is co-director of the NBER project on Africa and President of the Association for Comparative Economic Studies (term of office 2008-2009).

From March 2007 through the end of August 2008, Professor Johnson was the International Monetary Fund's Economic Counsellor (chief economist) and Director of its Research Department. At the IMF, Professor Johnson led the global economic outlook team, helped formulate innovative responses to worldwide financial turmoil, and was among the earliest to propose new forms of engagement for sovereign wealth funds. He was also the first IMF chief economist to have a blog.

His PhD is in economics from MIT, while his MA is from the University of Manchester and his BA is from the University of Oxford.

Visit: The Baseline Scenario

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.