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12:03AM

Slowly grind the gears at Basel

WSJ front-page headline, though now a week old. 

But the nice thing about this rule-set reset is that it drags on with all the urgency usually mounted by bankers when it comes to unpleasant change.  So it’s hard to fall behind the curve much.

The gist: large multinational banks will be forced to raise “vast sums to cushion any future losses.”

The give:  the new rules won’t go into effect for a bit.

The “race” as it is called:  to hammer out the new rules by year’s end.

The two main players are the G-20, whose financial ministers met this week in Seoul, and the usual Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

In many ways, the new rules will simply update the old Basel package initially set up in the late 1980s.

Perhaps it will be known as Basel III (a previous revamp years ago was dubbed Basel II).  I guess these are becoming like GATT-cum-WTO trade rounds.

Always tricky stuff to negotiate, so naturally drawn out.

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