Blog

  • "Bank lobby has been successful at fighting reform"

    27 August 2014

    Interview with Robert Jenkins, a Senior Fellow at Better Markets and Adjunct Professor, Finance at London Business School. He is a former member of the Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England.

  • Reforming the mega banks – two ways to deal with a tsunami

    Benoît Lallemand
    25 July 2014

    Benoît Lallemand, co-head of policy analysis at Finance Watch, looks at the case for structural reform of the EU’s largest and most inter-connected banks.

  • A View From Germany III – Local solutions to a global crisis

    15 July 2014

    In his new article “View from Germany III”, our guest blogger Fabien Hassan has a look at the specific trends of “going local” in different European countries, which all seem to have their own idea of a local bank.

  • TTIP - a consultation that misses the key question


    8 July 2014

    The introduction of an Investor to State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) in the Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations met with strong opposition from civil society at large. The European Commission therefore decided to launch a public consultation on investor protection mechanisms in TTIP. However, this consultation fails to ask the most important question...

  • A View From Germany II – The financing of the German economy

    21 May 2014

    In the rest of the EU, the main strength of Germany’s economy is often considered to be its dense fabric of exporting SMEs, sometimes known as the Mittelstand, which has remarkably resisted the crisis. When so many European leaders talk of reindustrialisation and promotion of local SMEs, it might be worth analysing the financial environment for small firms in Germany. To try to understand the world of German finance, our guest blogger Fabien Hassan, who is presently living in Berlin, takes a look at the financing of the German economy.

  • Campagne: Change finance

    30 April 2014

    De financiële wereld regeert. Het is tijd voor verandering! Alleen dan kan de financiële sector op een veilige manier in dienst van de samenleving werken. Meer informatie over de gevaren van het financiële systeem en wat u kunt doen om hier verandering in te brengen, vindt u in onze campagnebrochure (NL).

  • Understanding Finance #1 - Splitting megabanks?

    21 March 2014

    The European Commission's legislative proposal on bank structure reform released in January 2014 has been long awaited. Five years after the most severe financial crisis in 80 years hit the global economy, analysts from all sides agree that the European banking system remains dominated by a handful of too-big-to-fail universal banks so huge that their failure would threaten whole economies. This multimedia dossier gives you a non-technical overview on the issue of bank separation and explains Finance Watch’s position on this crucial issue. Beyond the jargon, the core question is actually a simple one: should megabanks be split?

  • A View From Germany I – How the three-pillared German Banking System has gotten through the crisis

    20 March 2014

    Since the bulk of media and political attention has moved away from private financial institutions to focus on public debt issues, Germany has slowly secured a position as the key political actor in Europe. Political stability, sound public finance, and a strong trade surplus constitute what is widely regarded as a great economic success in the EU. But one should remember that in 2008, when the financial crisis hit Europe, German banks seemed the most fragile, and the government had to proceed to massive recapitalisations. To try to understand the world of German finance, our guest blogger Fabien Hassan, who is presently living in Berlin, comes back to the organisation of German banking.

  • Why do we think the EC proposal has the “right objectives but a fragile mechanism”?

    Greg Ford
    21 February 2014

    The EC’s proposal on bank structure reform aims to reduce government support for investment banks by making large banks place their financial trading activities into a separately capitalised subsidiary. This relatively simple step would stop the benefits of implicit government support for the retail bank from leaking across into the investment bank.

  • Lessons from History X – From London to Paris. How excessive public debt and uncontrolled financial innovation led to the bubbles of 1720

    19 February 2014

    Facing similar problems of unsustainable public debt, 18th century England and France tried to resort to new financial techniques to solve their solvency issues. John Law, a famous Scottish economist, promoted an ingenious scheme that lured the highly corrupt French monarchy. But in the end, this only resulted in massive bubbles, and someone had to take the losses.