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John McFall puts the "too big to fail" issue on the political agenda and John Greenway bows out

Interesting to see that the Treasury Select Committee chairman, Labour MP John McFall, has tabled an Early Day Motion (no 2008) in the House of Commons calling for the big banks - those deemed 'too big to fail' to be broken up.
This is an issue that will not go away and nor should it. There is simply too much moral hazard in having institutions that know they can take almost any risks they like because the state simply cannot let them go under if they screw up. It forms part of the overall theme of Mr McFall's approach to the turmoil of the last couple of years which he set out at last night's Parliamentary Reception for the Post Magazine Business Leaders Forum - neatly summed up as things have to change and change significantly. In Mr McFall's view there is no going back to the old ways. This means, he argues, as well as breaking up some banks, there cannot be a return to the bonus culture of old, especially while there is so much public money slushing around the banking system, and that the sector should also be expected to devote more attention to addressing financial exclusion.
Last night's reception was also notable for being the last that will be hosted by John Greenway for Post Magazine. He hosted the first, very modest, reception we organised in one of the smaller dining rooms at the House of Commons at the end of 1989 to launch the Post Magazine 150th anniversary celebrations that ran through 1990. When we came back for the second reception the following autumn we were ready to launch the All Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance & Financial Services, of which John was a founding member. When the late Sir Bob McCrindle stood down at the 1992 General Election, John was elected as chair of the group, a post he still holds. John announced three years ago that he would be standing down at the next election.
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