Basel Liquidity Rule May Be Watered Down Amid Crisis

By Jim Brunsden

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Global banking regulators will this week seek to resolve clashes over how far to ease a planned liquidity rule, amid calls for the standard to be watered down and delayed because it may thwart economic recovery. Regulators face an end-of-the-year deadline to revamp the draft liquidity coverage ratio, or LCR, criticized by top officials such as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi for threatening to choke interbank lending. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision will try to find a compromise as it meets in the Swiss city on Dec. 13-14. “If the LCR doesn’t come together next week into a consensus standard with credible prospects for EU and U.S. implementation — a very iffy proposition, — the concept of global liquidity standards will collapse,” Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Washington-based Federal Financial Analytics Inc., said in an e-mail.