Resurrecting Glass-Steagall – Project Syndicate

Finally, some observers – although relatively few at this point – argue that the biggest banks have greatly improved their control and compliance systems, and that the mismanagement of risk on a systemically significant scale is no longer possible.

This view is simply implausible. Consider all the instances of money laundering and sanctions busting (with evidence against Credit Agricole last week, Deutsche Bank this week, and almost every major international bank in the past few years).

This is the equivalent of near misses in aviation. If the US had the equivalent of the National Transportation Safety Board for finance, we would receive detailed public reports on what exactly is – still, after all these years – going wrong. Sadly, what we actually get is plea bargains in which all relevant details are kept secret. The regulators and law-enforcement officials are letting us down – and jeopardizing the safety of the financial system – on a regular basis.

-Simon Johnson

Source: Resurrecting Glass-Steagall

How long do we want to play with fire?