Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pleased as Punch

Sarko is pleased as punch with the G20. He got his way on the banker bonus thing. The so-called "moralization of capitalism" is one of those resonant phrases that sounds good in a sound bite--or presidential debate. Sarkozy and Guaino are no doubt already honing the line for use against whatever candidate the Left finally chooses to sacrifice to the juggernaut. What were you doing to "moralize capitalism" back in the crisis, Sarko will say, while I was staring down the servants of Wall Street at the G20?

But when it comes to the nitty-gritty of financial system regulation--bank capital requirements, for example--France and its fellow Europeans like to fall back on Basel II. If you don't know why that's a bad idea, Joe Nocera explains it here. And for an even more pessimistic read, there is always Simon Johnson, who believes that G20, by inducing a false sense of security, may actually have been "dangerous."