Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (R) speaks to U.S. Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew.(Reuters / Alastair Grant)
The US and UK will stage a comprehensive simulation next week check whether the countries’ financial and banking sectors are still vulnerable to the problem of the ‘too big to fail’ institutions and coordinate their actions in case of such collapse.
Government financial leaders from Britain and US will simulate a failure of a large banking institution on Monday in Washington, DC, to test the effectiveness of each county’s banking regulations.
They hope the simulation – which will not mimic the collapse of any particular ‘too big to fail’ institution – will demonstrate what the officials have learned from the financial crisis about their respective roles, and how new practices should shield taxpayers from further bailouts. The simulation will run through procedures if a large UK bank with US operations failed, and those for a US bank with a British presence.
“We are going to make sure we can handle an institution that was previously regarded as too big to fail,” said UK chancellor, John Osborne, speaking to journalists at an International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington on Friday. “This demonstrates the distance we have come over the last few years to build resilience and learn the lessons of the financial crisis.”
Participating in the “war game” along with Chancellor Osborne will be US Treasury secretary Jack Lew, head of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, and the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, with senior officials from both countries.
It has been six years since the 2008 financial crisis when $700 billion in taxpayer dollars was used to shore up failing institutions, besides the cost of other bailout programs such as for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that totalled at least $135 billion more. The financial crisis lead to mass unemployment, drastic cuts to US government social programs, and contributed to the economic downfall of several European states.
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