Slideshow 'It's Always Something': Comments of the Week

Published
  • August 19 2016, 7:30am EDT

American Banker readers share their views on the most pressing banking topics of the week. Comments are excerpted from reader response sections of AmericanBanker.com articles and our social media platforms.

Disagreeing with the idea that newer regulations would have prevented Washington Mutual or other banks from failing:

"Maybe WaMu wouldn't have failed in today's regulatory regime, maybe not. What is clear, if it hadn't been WaMu, it would have been someone else. And there is always going to be a someone else. As Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say, 'It's always somethin'.'"

Related Article: Wamu's Collapse Wouldn't Have Happened with Today's Regulatory Landscape

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On what would have prevented the credit crisis:

"At the risk of pointing out the obvious, I believe that most of the failures and losses would have been avoided if the regulators had enforced 'prudent underwriting standards' for all lenders. C'mon Man, lending 110% of a property's value is not prudent. Unverified application information is not prudent. Lower capital requirements is not prudent."

Related Article: Wamu's Collapse Wouldn't Have Happened with Today's Regulatory Landscape


A retort to viewing bitcoin as a cure for the unbanked problem:

"There are much more fundamental issues behind the large number of unbanked than the absence of a universal currency. The number of mobile devices worldwide is impressive but doesn't speak to the distribution of devices or the infrastructure issues. Currency conversion is an issue, if you ever want to spend your Bitcoin. And I'm guessing that the great majority of unbanked will actually need to spend and not accumulate assets. The authors cite corner cases for Bitcoin's viability. It remains a solution looking for a problem."

Related Article: Here's What the Bitcoin Naysayers Get Wrong


Another reaction to the promise of bitcoin:

"One challenge that Bitcoin has will be in pricing. It's perceived as a very cheap alternative today, but as the bounty to mine goes down over time (currently 12.5 bitcoins or over $6000 per block) then fees will have to take up the slack. Because the proof of work becomes harder over time to keep up with computing power increases, the costs will not fall significantly and many miners are operating on very thin margins already. …That might be tolerable for a large transaction, but micro-transactions will become cost prohibitive."

Related Article: Here's What the Bitcoin Naysayers Get Wrong

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On ways to vet a person's identity online:

"It's hard to imagine the success of a non-bank site that is going to ask you to provide online bank credentials. The only way anyone should even consider using this type of validation is if it starts from within their existing online banking site (or app) and links out to a miicard or other. Banks should already be warning their customers about these types of services as it creates numerous issues."

Related Article: Comic Con Controversy Highlights Digital ID Opportunity for Banks


On the amount of individuals the CFPB's new head of supervision and enforcement oversees:

"Beyond the question of his capabilities or ideological correctness, what should we take away from the fact that the CFPB has 700 lawyers and staff in the enforcement area? To me that is disconcerting."

Related Article: Doubts Raised About Qualifications of CFPB's Supervision Head


A reaction to bankers wondering, circa 2008, whether mobile banking would take off (via <a href="https://twitter.com/johnsiracusa/status/764098233463410688?refsrc=email&s=11" target="_blank">Twitter</a>):