[Este é o primeiro de alguns posts sobre falhas da supervisão bancária portuguesa e europeia, e os desafios e obstáculos para um supervisor único pôr ordem na caserna]
«The euro zone is belatedly moving to some form of “banking union”. A single supervisor could end the cosseting of banks. Direct recapitalisation by rescue funds would be a big step towards risk-sharing. But why has it taken so long to address the banking crisis? In part, because banks in Europe are treated as national champions. They are large in relation to GDP, and have a bigger share of lending in Europe than in America. Some banks have been a source of patronage and influence for local politicians.
National regulators have too often buried skeletons, not least to avoid intrusion by the commission’s competition watchdog, which demands restructuring of banks that receive state aid. The talk in the commission is that, of 45 banking cases it has looked into, 44 involved overestimation of assets by national regulators, probably to mask the scale of assistance. The new EU-wide supervisor, the European Banking Authority, has not done any better. Its stress tests gave a clean bill of health to banks that were later poleaxed in Belgium, Spain and Cyprus.
It is only now, nearly four years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, that the commission has issued a proposal for an EU-wide system of restructuring and winding up failing banks, to take effect in 2018. Michel Barnier, the French single-market commissioner, said he did not want to rush his bank-resolution proposal. Yet many think that had such a system been set up sooner, Spain’s banking troubles might have been mitigated.»
«Euro snakes and ladders», Economist, Jul 14th 2012 | from the print edition