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The Basel II Solution to Sub-Prime and Related Financial Planning (Part 2)

1 February 2008 - Markets - Editor

The Basel II Solution to Sub-Prime and Related Financial Planning (Part 1)

It does not end there. Banks have sold sub-prime debts to each other. Each of these transactions gave a second set of professional banker personnel, new opportunities to apply Basel norms to what their peers had done. Gross violations of risk management guidelines were overlooked every time bankers traded sub-prime loans. The losers of this round were investors with stocks in the financial sector. There is a strong moral case for investors whose funds have been used to discount sub-prime loans, to be compensated for negligence in observing Basel norms. The US Federal Reserve is party to this mess because it waited all the way until November 2007 before even getting banks to agree to adhere to the Basel II norms.

How Does Financial Planning in the US Compare With Other Countries?

Australia and Europe have implemented Basel norms better than US banks and regulators. This might not be the only reason for their relative freedom from sub-prime woes, but finance professionals are generally agreed on the values and benefits of conforming to agreed Basel norms. It is never too late to turn the page, so the US can still emerge as the first to adopt the Basel III norms diligently. All of us stand to benefit from the universal application of such safeguards.

Politics may be effectively beyond our reach. We know that key banking executives responsible for the sub-prime crime have been let off with generous severance packages. Powerful banking industry lobbies could well continue to fleece consumers with extravagant loans at exorbitant rates. However, no one can be forced to sign the death warrant of a loan he or she cannot afford. Financial planning is a personal responsibility, and we must learn to live with the consequences of our actions.

Where do you stand on this matter? Have you been a victim of a sub-prime loan? Do you have a method which protects vital personal financial planning interests? Do you have a different opinion about the Basel norms from the ones expressed in this article? Please join our forum and let us know what you have experienced, and what you think of retail banking. We wait to hear from you!

 


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