EU Takes Critical Next Step in Banking Union

The European Union has at last proposed what it calls the “second pillar” of its banking union. The first pillar, unveiled last December, consists of proposals for banking reform, aimed at reducing risk in the financial system. This next step proposes a mechanism should those reforms fail and the authorities have to deal with bank failures. Some, including Michael Barnier, the EU commissioner in charge of regulation, have referred to this proposed Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) as a “revolution” on a par with the adoption of the euro. That characterization surely overstates, as does use of the word “pillar.” Matters […]

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