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Gillian Tett: Sovereign Debt Could Be The Next Subprime

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These days, there is a near-unanimous belief among western regulators that one way to prevent a repeat of the 2007-08 crisis is to stop banks taking crazy risks with subprime mortgage bonds or complex instruments such as collateralised debt obligations (CDOs). Instead, banks are being urged to hold a higher proportion of their assets in the form of "safe" instruments, most notably sovereign or quasi-sovereign debt. G20 regulators are holding regular meetings in Basel to draw up rules on how banks should do this, as part of a wider reform of financial regulation.

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