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Nordea CEO: Let banks fail

Nordea CEO: Let banks fail

Published: 24 Aug 2010 17:35 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Aug 2010 17:35 GMT+02:00

Christian Clausen, the CEO of Nordic banking group Nordea has spoken out against state bail outs of troubled banks, arguing that they should be allowed to fold.

Speaking in an interview with Danish magazine Lederne, Clausen divides responsibility for the fall out from the finance crisis with politicians, the banks themselves, and their customers.

"The bad banks should be allowed to go bankrupt, and customers should have been affected. This has just not been politically acceptable, as it would have affected the customers," Clausen said to the magazine.

But Clausen said that the consequences would be the same as for customers of businesses in other sectors, such as airlines or construction firms, which would not be saved by the state.

"The discipline required in choosing a bank you have faith in has been removed due to the principle of being 'too big to fail'," adding that he hoped that international regulation would continue in the direction of allowing troubled banks to fail.

Clausen said that while Nordea was not responsible for the crisis, it would do its bit to ensure that there would be no repeat.

Nordea, formerly Nordbanken before it merged with Finnish Merita in 1998, was bought by the state-owned PK-Banken in 1990 after falling victim to the financial crisis in Sweden 1990-1994, receiving 63 billion kronor ($8.4 billion in today's money) in state support.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:07 August 24, 2010 by krow
This guy is talking from ALL four corners of his mouth. Had the swedish government not bailed Nordea bank even though they own the bank, you would not have been CEO today
18:28 August 24, 2010 by Taxalien
@krow: What a pointless comment.

Clausen was made CEO in 2007. Nordea was bailed out during the 1990s.

Clausen is not alone in speaking up to say what a few economists have said for decades. Bank must and should fail if they are not solvent.

The reason why it doesn't happen in Sweden is because we have a political nobility as well as a corporate nobility who run the country and who need each other to avoid making it obvious that they are both failures that rely on an increasing underclass of Swedes who don't have a share in the surplus that AB Sweden is producing.
22:17 August 24, 2010 by Mib
I agree...let banks fail...but with a proviso. They must follow stringent regulations to seperate the investment banking from the retail part. they must retain enough money to deal with normal downturns. The banking sector must be opened up to allow fair competition and all staff who receive bonuses should be paid in shares or paid when it is shown that the bank made REAL profits over a 10 year period. In the event of a bank failing/massive losses....the higher management relinquish any contractual compensation in the event their contract is cut short.

So, in essence...run the banks for the customers and not for speculators!!Simple really.

Just an aside.....the specualtors in the commodities market have driven food prices up, which is helping to cause hunger in parts of the world including Niger. That is scandalous and must be stopped. A dying child has more right to food than a banker to their bonuses!! Simple really!
00:24 August 25, 2010 by frey
would someone please tell me who caused the "quant quake" in july of 2007? ( somebody(s) dumped their mortgage securities position). was it that egg head simon over at rennaissance technologies; or was it the british, swedish, and thai's sticking it to new york over the previous currency episodes; or maybe it was trow? any ideas? but to get on topic, lehman brothers was allowed to fail, and look what happened.
02:39 August 25, 2010 by rabbemos
@taxalien Good Points.
09:32 August 25, 2010 by RobinHood
# Frey

Your excellent question will be debated for years to come, and like the causes of the first world war, the answer is: lot's of different things all coming togethor at the same time, some things more important than others. The debate will be about what where the most important factors, and no one will ever agree what they were.

My sixpenth worth is "uncontrolled greed" sums it up.
13:01 August 25, 2010 by Taxalien
@RobinHood:

The problem is not capitalism but the absence of it. The worst enemies of capitalism is not socialists but capitalists. All capitalists who have made it to the top love socialism. It is the moat around the castle. It keeps everybody else out.

If you really thought any different then explain after 77 years of socialdemocracy in Sweden we now have 1% of the population owning 40% of all capital.

@Mib:

I don't have an issue with the bonus culture. If banks were allowed to fail most would be stone dead right now. I can only imagine maybe 5 or so surviving (like Orust or Tjörn bank) and none of those are on the high street.

In a planned economy wealth is distributed unequally with a preference towards the planners. Just like the Sovietunion. This is the point Beng Ericson is making in his book "Den nya överklassen". http://www.dn.se/dnbok/bokrecensioner/bengt-ericson-den-nya-overklassen-en-bok-om-sveriges-nya-ekonomiska-elit-1.1158003

That book and Anders Isaksson's "Den Politiska Adeln" is really all immigrants should be forced to read before they start telling everybody how fantastic Sweden is. Because it is not so fantastic if you understand what it really is all about and where Sweden derives its ideals from.
14:35 August 25, 2010 by blik
Its all about ballance. There should be a mixture of regulation that protects consumers and Capitalist princaple that allows the rotten to die.
15:51 August 25, 2010 by Liquidmonkey
YES, let them fail, greedy bastards.

if banks actually gave back to their customers i might feel sorry for them but all banks do is take take take and the charge the customer a fee FOR EVERYTHING!!

banks use YOUR MONEY to get rich but yet we don't even get interest anymore.

disgusting.
17:47 August 25, 2010 by BobYourUncle
Spot on, the 'lauded' 3rd way is the biggest scam to keep the working class believing in socialism to benefit the capitalists at the top. I have been stating this for years and it is welcoming to see someone else mention it.
18:00 August 25, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
I think the underlying problem here is that people and consumers are basically braindead and unable to make a informed decision themselves, therefore the goverment has to nannystate for them.

Case in point: Like Mr. Nordea says, customers should investigate the strength of their bank on a regular basis, and not put all their eggs in one basket. He is 100% correct that we should let banks fail. It'a about choice. If you don't like ICA's meat, don't shop there. Vote with your wallet, same as you choose a bank. If you don't like Nordea, Swebank, start your own bank if you think you can do it better. Until then, stop complaining and remain the lemming that you are.

Sadly, society today has devolved to the point where people expect the goverment to protect them from any hardship. Thus, the political pressure for bailouts.
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