By Dimitris N. Chorafas (auth.)
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Additional resources for Banks, Bankers, and Bankruptcies under Crisis: Understanding Failures and Mergers during the Great Recession
Dexia is not really an LCBG but it gambled with money as if it were one, using the funds of depositors in small, local, popular banks for faraway ventures, including loans to the city of Detroit that itself went bankrupt in July 2013. The next example, Meinl, is also not an LCBG. Its case has been included to show how difficult it is to untangle cross-border done deals even for smaller conglomerates. The Austrian Meinl Bank saw the light in 1862 as a coffee and food store chain. In recent times, it expanded into real estate.
It is also advisable to make credible the threat that next time banks will be allowed to fail. Living wills are supposed to be drawn up when the LCBG or any other institution is still a going concern. At least theoretically, that would force banks to organize themselves so that it is easier to dismember them in a crisis. According to the pros, proposed laws will make it possible to kill BANKS “TOO BIG TO FAIL” 17 any financial firm in a way that imposes losses on its stakeholders (bailins and so on).
The observed high level of inconsistencies and incompatibilities of risk weights applied by banks goes beyond true differences in the underlying risk factors, with the result that risk profiles across institutions are incompatible with one another. This is due to a number of reasons ranging from the way individual business models have been built to macroeconomic hypotheses and other choices made by banks including management’s wish to downplay assumed exposure. In turn, such practices lead to an unjustified divergence between the capital positions of LCBGs with loan portfolios of similar levels of risk.