Development banks, risk and Basle II: some assessments

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The implementation of the Basle II agreement in the financial markets of world economies has been seen as a significant advance in relation to the model enforced under the first agreement (Basle I). It is generally understood that the new agreement represents a substantial advance in relation to the first because it allows banks to better deal with the risks to which they are exposed. Nevertheless, when the application of these principles to development banks is considered it can be noted that certain inconsistencies exist, notably the fact that these institutions are typically public institutions - or at least strongly dependent on public funding - and they do not operate the payment system of the economy. Therefore, the application of the Basle rules to these institutions does not make sense. This means that Basle does not represent an appropriate set of recommendations for how these institutions should deal with their risks, whether because the proposed form of dealing with risks is inadequate, or because other relevant risks for these institutions are not covered by Basle I and II.

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