Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Secrecy jurisdictions, and too-big-to-fail (again)

It's an obvious point, really, derived from this latest story in the Financial Times, about the promotion of Bob Diamond to head Barclays Bank, which notes that:

HSBC and Barclays, as well as Standard Chartered, have warned that forcing them to separate their highly profitable investment and corporate banking operations from their less volatile retail businesses could see them shift their headquarters abroad.

HSBC would almost certainly relocate to Hong Kong, a major secrecy jurisdiction, and Barclays would probably go to a secrecy jurisdiction too. In other words, they are using the offshore club to threaten politicians who want to tackle the too-big-to-fail (TBTF) problem.

As we've said before (see here, for example, or here): the TBTF problem comes to you - courtesy of the secrecy jurisductions.


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