Remove the systemic risk, don’t levy against it

Via The Guardian, City minister campaigns to protect taxpayer from bank failures:

City minister Lord Myners today stepped up the government’s campaign to ensure taxpayers will never again need to bail out banks by urging delegates to a Downing Street seminar to hammer out ways to transfer the risk of bank failures away from the public sector.

At the start of the meeting with academics, country officials from the G7, international and UK policymakers, Myners said: “There is clearly a strong rationale to charge for the externality caused by the financial sector and financial institutions should shoulder the responsibilities for losses they may face”.

“Numerous innovative ideas including contingent capital and systemic risk levies have recently emerged to increase the resilience of the financial system globally and to ensure that the costs of any future failures primarily fall to banks and bank investors rather than taxpayers,” Myners said.

Well, yes indeed: businesses should certainly shoulder their own risks.

However, rather than raising a levy on the systemic risk, the law should remove it: bank deposits should be subject to sound property rights and contract law.

Further reading