We Are Still Groping for Truth About the Financial Crisis

While most people are disgusted that bankers got away scot-free, the bankers themselves — or at least their shareholders — feel that they have been punished. Over the past 10 years, banks globally have underperformed the rest of the market by about 50 per cent, according to MSCI. Their profits have flatlined for years and remain below their level before the crisis. Trading revenues are down, and once-bustling trading rooms are almost deserted. Post-crisis financial reforms, forcing big banks to hold far more capital as a cushion, and barring them from risking depositors’s capital by trading on their own account, have combined with low interest rates — which make it harder to make a profit — to make banking duller and less profitable, albeit less risky. Such an outcome seemed inevitable in 2008. But many believe post-crisis re-regulation has been inadequate.

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