Central bankers from the United States, England, and Japan jointly sponsored a recent conference to take stock of the 10 years since capital standards were first tied to asset risk. Advances in technology and bank operations make changes in the 1988 Basel accord inevitable, they agreed.

"The question is not whether the Basel standard will be changed, but how and why each new round of change will occur, and to which market segment it will apply," Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan said in a speech during the two-day conference.

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