The bankers at this year's Davos, Switzerland, conference were back to dreaming of running their world dictatorship, according to coverage by Liam Halligan in the Jan. 29 Telegraph. As the summit closed, Halligan reported, executives from JP Morgan, Barclays, and Credit Suisse, among others, literally summoned a meeting of Western finance ministers and other officials, to tell them to "lay off" the bankers. Their best pupil was, not surprisingly, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Geroge Osborne.
Halligan also reports that the bankers were busy at Davos, getting rid of every threat for more regulation. The new Basel rules for higher capital requirements have been totally diluted. And U.S. regulators have dropped new accounting rules that would have required marking their asset "to market," thereby restoring "their official licence to cook their books."
Meanwhile, Halligan reports, the banks continue to expand, with the top 10 UK banks' balance sheets totalling 460% of national income and the entire sector accounting for 5 times GDP. This dwarfs U.S. banking indebtedness, which is only 1 times GDP. Halligan is actually in favor of a Glass-Steagall style reform in light of this situation, separating investment and commercial banking. But he doesn't expect it to come any time soon.