The Bank for International Settlements is an international organization of central banks which fosters International Monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks the BIS carried out its work through subcommittees the Secretariat sit hosts and through an annual general meeting of all member banks it also provides banking services but only to central banks and other International organisations it is based in Basel Switzerland with representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City history the BIS was established on May 17th 1930 by an intergovernmental agreement by Germany Belgium France United Kingdom Italy Japan United States and Switzerland the BIS was originally intended to facilitate reparations imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles after World War I the need to establish a dedicated institution for This purpose was suggested in 1929 by the young committee and was agreed to in August of that year at a conference at The Hague a charter for the bank was drafted at the international bankers conference at baden baden in november and its Charter was adopted at a second Hague conference on January 20th 1930 according to the Charter shares in the bank could be held by individuals and non-governmental entities the BIS was constituted as having corporate Existence in Switzerland on the basis of an agreement with Switzerland acting as headquarters state for the bank it also enjoyed immunity in all the contracting states between 1933 and 1945 the BIS Board of Directors included Wolfie Funke a prominent Nazi official and Emil Poole who were both convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg trials after world war ii as well as Hermann Schmidt's the director of IG Farben and Baron von Schroeder the owner of the J H Stein Bank which held the deposits of the Gestapo there were allegations that the BIS had helped the Germans loot assets from occupied countries during World War two as a result of these allegations at the Bretton Woods conference held in July 1944 Norway proposed the liquidation of the Bank for International Settlements at the earliest possible moment this resulted in the BIS being the subject of a disagreement between the American and British delegations their liquidation of the Bank was supported by other European delegates as well as the United States but opposed by John Maynard Keynes head of the British delegation fearing that the BIS would be dissolved by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Keynes went to merchant a hoping to prevent the dissolution or have it postponed but the next day the dissolution of the BIS was approved however the liquidation of the Bank was Never actually undertaken in April 1945 the new US president harry s truman and the british government suspended the dissolution and the decision to liquidate the BIS was officially reversed in 1948 the BIS was originally owned by both governments and private individuals since the United States and France had decided to sell some of their shares to private investors bis shares traded on stock markets which made the Bank an unusual organization an International organization yet allowed for private shareholders many central banks had similarly started as such private institutions for example the Bank of England was privately owned until 1946 in more recent years the BIS has bought back its once publicly traded shares it is now wholly owned by BIS members but still operates in the private market as a counterparty asset manager and lender for central banks and international financial institutions Profits from its transactions are used among other things to fund the banks other international activities organization of central banks as an organization of central banks the BIS seeks to make monetary policy more predictable and transparent among its 58 member central banks while monetary policy is determined by each sovereign nation it is subject to central and private banking scrutiny and potentially to speculation that affects Foreign exchange rates and especially the fate of export economies failures to keep monetary policy in line with reality and make monetary reforms in time preferably as a simultaneous policy among all 58 member banks and also involving the International Monetary Fund have historically led to losses in the billions as banks try to maintain a policy using open market methods that have proven to be based on unrealistic Assumptions central banks do not unilaterally set rates rather they set goals and intervene using their massive financial resources and regulatory powers to achieve monetary targets they set one reason to coordinate policy closely is to ensure that this does not become too expensive and that opportunities for private arbitrage exploiting shifts in policy or difference in policy are rare and quickly removed two aspects of monetary Policy have proven to be particularly sensitive and the BIS therefore has two specific goals to regulate capital adequacy and make reserve requirements transparent regulates capital adequacy capital adequacy policy applies to equity and capital assets these can be overvalued in many circumstances because they do not always reflect current market conditions or adequately assess the risk of every trading position accordingly the BIS requires the capital Asset ratio of central banks to be above a prescribed minimum international standard for the protection of all central banks involved the BIS is main role is in setting capital adequacy requirements from an international point of view ensuring capital adequacy is the most important problem between central banks as speculative lending based on inadequate underlying capital and widely varying liability rules causes economic crises as bad money drives out good Encourages reserve transparency reserve policy is also important especially to consumers in the domestic economy to ensure liquidity and limit liability to the larger economy banks cannot create money in specific industries or regions without limit to make bank depositing and borrowing safer for customers and reduce risk of bank runs banks are to set aside or reserve Reserve policy is harder to standardize as it depends on local conditions and is often Fine-tuned to make industry specific or region specific changes especially within large developing nations for instance the People's Bank of China requires urban banks to hold 7% reserves while letting rural banks continue to hold only 6% and simultaneously telling all banks that reserve requirements on certain overheated industries would rise sharply or penalties would be laid if investments in them did not stop completely the PBOC is thus unusual and Acting as a national bank focused on the country not on the currency but its desire to control asset inflation is increasingly shared among bis members who fear bubbles and among exporting countries that find it difficult to manage the diverse requirements of the domestic economy especially rural agriculture and an export economy especially in manufactured goods effectively the PBOC sets different reserve levels for domestic and export Styles of development historically the united states also did this by dividing federal monetary management into nine regions in which the less developed Western United States had looser policies for various reasons it has become quite difficult to accurately assess reserves on more than simple loan instruments and this plus the regional differences has tended to discourage standardizing any reserve rules at the global bis scale historically the BIS Did set some standards which favored lending money to private landowners and for-profit corporations over loans to individuals these distinctions reflecting classical economics was superseded by policies relying on undifferentiated market value EC euro more in line with neoclassical economics tier 1 versus total capital the BIS sets requirements on two categories of capital Teairra 1 capital and total capital Teairra 1 capital is the book Value of his stock plus retained earnings tiara to capital is loan loss reserves plus subordinated debt total capital is the sum of tiara 1 and tiara 2 capital Teairra one capital must be at least full percent of total risk-weighted assets total capital must be at least 8 percent of total risk-weighted assets when a bank creates a deposit to fund alone its assets and liabilities increase equally with no increase in Equity but causes its capital ratio to drop thus the capital requirement limits the total amount of credit that a bank may issue it is important to note that the capital requirement applies to assets while the bank reserve requirement applies to liabilities goal a financial safety net a relatively narrow role the BIS plays today does not reflect its ambitions or historical role a well designed financial safety net supported By strong Prudential Regulation and supervision effective laws that are enforced and sound accounting and disclosure regimes are among the bank's goals in fact they have been in its mandates since its founding in 1930 as a means to enforce the Treaty of Versailles the BIS has historically had less power to enforce this safety net than it deems necessary recent heard Andrew Crockett has bemoaned its inability to hardwire the credit culture Despite many specific attempts to address specific concerns such as the growth of offshore financial centres highly leveraged institutions large and complex financial institutions deposit insurance and especially the spread of money-laundering and accounting scandals role in banking supervision the BIS provides the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision with its 17 member Secretariat and with it has played a central role in establishing the Basel Capital Accords of 1988 and 2004 there remain significant differences between United States European Union and United Nations officials regarding the degree of capital adequacy and reserve controls that global banking now requires but extremely simply the United States as of 2006 favoured strong strict central controls in the spirit of the original 1988 Accords while the EU was more inclined to a distributed system managed collective With a committee able to approve some exceptions the union agencies especially ICLEI are firmly committed to fundamental risk measures the so called triple bottom line and were becoming critical of central banking as an institutional structure for ignoring fundamental risks in favor of technical risk management accounting and use of sdrs since 2004 the BIS has published its accounts in terms of Special Drawing rights as of 30 2013 the fiscal year Report of the bank had total assets of SDR 211 thousand nine hundred fifty 2.4 million one SDR is equivalent to the sum of zero point six six zero u.s. dollars zero point four two three European euros twelve point one Japanese yen and 0.111 British pounds included in that total is 404 tons of fine gold until 2003 the Bank for International Settlements used his currency gold frank members 60-member central banks or monetary Authorities of these countries general managers board of directors christian neue paris Masaaki Shirakawa tokyo janet yellen washington d.c Steven s Paulo's Ottawa Augusta M Karstens Mexico City Luke Kuhn brussels andreas Dom Brett Frankfurt AM main Mario Draghi Frankfurt AM main William Dudley New York Stefan ins Stockholm Thomas Jordan Zurich Mark Carney London close not Amsterdam An LA Lauria Paris guy kradin Brussels Fabrizio sacrimoni Rome Ignacio visco Rome Jens Weidmann Frankfurt AM main Zaki a Guan Beijing see also bank regulation Basel 3 continuous link settlement global financial system International Court of Justice League of Nations gold Frank references further reading Libby o R Adam tower of Basel the shadowy history of the secret that runs the world excerpt and text search never mind the check gold the Nazis stole the Bank for International Settlements actually financed Hitler a euro on registered trademark s war machine lobby o our atom The Telegraph July 31st 2013 external links bis website global banking the Bank for International Settlements and analysis of the origins and functions of the BIS the money club by Edward J Epstein harpus 1983 Andrew Crockett statement to the IMF an account of the use of reserve policy and other Central bank powers in China at the wayback machine by Henry CK Liu in the Asia times banking with Hitler on YouTube time watch Paul Elston producer Lawrence Reis narrator Sean Barrett BBC 1998 Bank for International Settlements in the Dada's database of the diplomatic documents of Switzerland
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