A January 6th decision by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision to relax a portion of the new Basel III rules is being heralded as a triumph for large global banks. The Basel Committee, a Swiss-based international agency that is responsible for coordinating banking regulation across nations, has announced that it has amended the proposed rules for a set of regulations known as liquidity requirements, making them less stringent. Since the January 6th announcement, the Basel Committee has been criticized for bowing to pressure from the global financial lobby. The action by the Basel Committee indicates that regulators accepted the argument being made by the banking industry, that compliance with the original regulation would have required banks to cut back lending precisely when it is needed most, to finance the global recovery. It is unclear if this would or would not have been the case.

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