BUST-UP FOLLOWS BREAK-UP

Central Bank of the United States of Europe flexes its muscle

The great ‘European Banking Break-Up’ of 2013 forced banks to separate investment banking from retail banking. In view of the extensive scandals that rocked banks in the years prior to 2013, this was perhaps no surprise.

However, hot on the heels of the latest French moves to flex their new power in the EU, comes another ruling from the Central Bank of the United States of Europe.

This sweeping reform will mandate that 50% of all retail banking be controlled directly by government, turning selected banks into what the ruling calls “public institutions.”

In the small print it states that market shares in the remaining ‘commercial’ half of the market will be strictly capped.

Effectively it means that no single bank can have more than 20% market share of the entire retail banking market in future, and that 50% of the retail market will be ‘nationalized’.

Will this be good or bad for the average consumer? What about business? Will it stimulate or stifle growth?

You can’t really take risk out of the equation and still have the same expectation of growth. Something has to give.

The promise of relaxed lending for homes and new business ventures should be welcomed, but down the road is the specter of another financial melt-down due to an overcooked economy.

In the meantime, with many of the financial culprits of last decades’ excesses firmly behind bars, the promise of ‘social capitalism’ and responsible attitudes by governments and financiers will continue to be an interesting experiment, the consequences of which we will live with – far into the future.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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