The Rocky Road to Implementation of Basel II in the United States
This paper contends that the problems US officials have encountered in their efforts to implement Basel II reflect inherent weaknesses in the structure of the approach. It begins with a brief overview of the original Basel Accord on Capital Adequacy (Basel I) and a summary of the Basel II approach, with emphasis on the Pillar I weights for credit risk. Next an analysis of the Fed’s bifurcated approach to implementation of Basel II is followed by an examination of three unanticipated obstacles: (1) perceived competitive inequities within the USA; (2) the surprisingly lower and variable capital charges revealed in the fourth quantitative impact study; and (3) the request by four leading banks for permission to implement the simpler, Standardized Approach rather than the Advanced Internal Ratings Approach (A-IRB). These reflect the erosion of several crucial predeal understandings as described by Kane (J Financ Serv Res 32(1):39–53, 2007a). The paper concludes with a consideration of whether it may have been possible to achieve equivalent improvements in risk management with lower compliance costs and less uncertainty about the impact on financial stability. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2007
Volume (Year): 35 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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