Tags: volcker | bank | rebuild

Volcker: Banks Need a Do-Over

By Julie Crawshaw   |   Thursday, 23 Oct 2008 02:43 PM

The U.S. banking system is in tatters and will have to be rebuilt from scratch, says Reagan-era Fed Chairman Paul Volcker.

"We are dealing with unprecedented events, and unprecedented events call for unprecedented measures," former Fed chair Paul Volcker told Columbia University's Women's Economic Round Table.

"I think we really are going to have to rebuild the system pretty much from the ground up," Volcker said.

As the U.S. Congress meets to try to assign blame and find solutions, a similar theme is being played out internationally. Foreign leaders, with the United States, say they plan to re-regulate a global financial system run amok.

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet told Bloomberg that the officials reshaping the world's financial system should return to the Bretton Woods agreement that governed markets in the decades after World War II.

The first Bretton Woods agreement was written by 730 delegates from 44 Allied nations 64 years ago.

It aimed to prevent a repeat of the Great Depression and to facilitate reconstruction in Europe after the war in part by using fixed, gold-backed exchange rates.

"Perhaps what we need is to go back to the first Bretton Woods (agreement), to go back to discipline," Trichet said.

"It's absolutely clear that financial markets need discipline: macroeconomic discipline, monetary discipline, market discipline."

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The U.S. banking system is in tatters and will have to be rebuilt from scratch, says Reagan-era Fed Chairman Paul Volcker."We are dealing with unprecedented events, and unprecedented events call for unprecedented measures," former Fed chair Paul Volcker told Columbia...
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