In mid September, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (see Update 63) released its “Basel III” rules. José Vinals, director of the IMF’s monetary and capital markets department praised the regulations as “a substantial step forward in addressing the micro-prudential failings in the areas of capital and liquidity buffers in banks”. However, independent commentators disagreed. Martin Wolf of the Financial Times says that “Basel has laboured mightily and brought forth a mouse. Needless to say, the banking industry will insist the mouse is a tiger.” He adds that trebling of capital reserves “sounds tough”, but “trebling almost nothing does not give one very much.”
The IMF and the World Bank are increasingly engaged with the challenge of addressing how tax avoidance and evasion affect developing countries, but need to address the role played by multinational enterprises and tax havens in exacerbating inequality and undermining countries’ domestic revenues.
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