IRA to Moderate Panel on Basel II at American Enterprise Institute

31 October 2006

-- Gary Wilhite, SVP for Credit Risk Management, Wachovia Bank, Added to the Panel
-- Program Expanded to Three Hours, Additional Seating Added to Accommodate Demand

On November 14th, 2006, Professional Risk Managers International Association and American Enterprise Institute present a luncheon discussion about Basel II featuring Mark Tenhundfeld, Director, Office of Regulatory Policy, of the American Bankers Association; George French, Deputy Director for Policy in the Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Gary Wilhite, Sr. Vice President for Credit Risk Management at Wachovia Bank; and Peter Wallison, Resident Fellow and co-director of AEI’s program on Financial Market Deregulation. Christopher Whalen, Managing Director of Institutional Risk Analytics and a member of PRMIA's DC Steering Committee, is the moderator of the program. The global strategy and consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton is kindly sponsoring this important luncheon and seminar at AEI’s headquarters in Washington.

The Basel II bank capital proposal is about helping banks and regulators better understand the credit risks taken by US financial institutions. Federal regulators are seeking comment on the new bank capital regulations and the banking industry has raised a number of objections to the proposal. See our recent comment in the American Banker ("Basel II Will Not Unify Global Rules on Capital") regarding the practical obstacles to alignment of capital risk measures under Basel II.

This discussion will look at some of the issues surrounding the new Basel II bank capital adequacy framework. For example:

** Should the largest US banks be compelled to adopt the most ambitious and costly version of the Basel II proposal?

** Should all banks be given the option to adopt a less complex, "standardized" version of the Basel II credit and operational risk measurement regime or even the different Basel Ia proposal? Does a two track approach make sense?

** Is Basel II’s Advanced Approach for measuring risk a sound basis for capital regulation in the United States?

** Is Basel II an effort to weaken or eliminate the leverage ratio used to measure bank capital adequacy?

The panelists will try to draw some conclusions about the objectives of the regulatory community and the banking industry as the comment period on the Basel II proposal nears a conclusion in January 2007. Please tell your friends and colleagues about this important discussion of the new bank capital adequacy accord for US banks.

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