Thursday, October 13, 2016

World will move to a sound financial system over time

The crisis in 2007-08 occurred because we had excessive credit growth and because banks in Europe and of course in the U.S. changed their nature – from being essentially institutions that accept deposits and then make loans to people, into big institutions that gamble with clients’ money. And so the first problem occurred with Bear Stearns and then Lehman Brothers in the U.S. and then AIG, and that was then bailed out. But the bailout did not lead to cleaning-up of the system. The banks were allowed to continue to gamble with their capital. 

And now with zero interest rates and with more leverage than in 2007 in the banking system and in total debt as a percentage of GDP, now there is a problem with Deutsche Bank. And I suppose the bank is basically bankrupt. But the government will not let it go bankrupt. They will engineer some kind of a bailout. Either the government can ask the private sector to help Deutsche Bank or the government can help Deutsche Bank. But it is not that the bank will disappear. But I think what will happen over the time is that these banks like Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, UBS , JPMorgan, Citi  and so forth will not be allowed to gamble in all kinds of speculative markets - whether it’s equities, swaps, currencies. So I think that in general we’ll move over time to sound the financial system. But it is not going to happen overnight, it will take a lot of time.