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Banking Problems Are Now Bigger Than Pre-Lehman
(Mark Deen and David Tweed, Bloomberg.com, September 13, 2009)
Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize- winning economist, said the U.S. has failed to fix the underlying problems of its banking system after the credit crunch and the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. ... "In the U.S. and many other countries, the too-big-to-fail banks have become even bigger," Stiglitz said in an interview today in Paris. "The problems are worse than they were in 2007 before the crisis." . . . Stiglitz's views echo those of former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who has advised President Barack Obama's administration to curtail the size of banks, and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, who suggested last month that governments may want to discourage financial institutions from growing "excessively." . . . "We aren't doing anything significant so far, and the banks are pushing back," he said. ... "It's an outrage," especially "in the U.S. where we poured so much money into the banks," Stiglitz said. "The administration seems very reluctant to do what is necessary. Yes they’ll do something, the question is: Will they do as much as required?" . . . Stiglitz, former chief economist at the World Bank and member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the world economy is "far from being out of the woods" even if it has pulled back from the precipice it teetered on after the collapse of Lehman. . . . "We're going into an extended period of weak economy, of economic malaise," Stiglitz said. The U.S. will "grow but not enough to offset the increase in the population," he said, adding that "if workers do not have income, it's very hard to see how the U.S. will generate the demand that the world economy needs." . . . The Federal Reserve faces a "quandary" in ending its monetary stimulus programs because doing so may drive up the cost of borrowing for the U.S. government, he said. . . . "The question then is who is going to finance the U.S. government," Stiglitz said.



posted by Lorenzo 9:14 AM


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