By Arnold Kling
The permissive bank risk management practices epitomized in the Basel II proposals were already widely practised within Europe as banks became more adept at circumventing the spirit of the initial 1988 Basel I Accord. Basel II was subsequently codified most thoroughly in the European Union through the EU’s Capital Adequacy Directive (CAD). In contrast, US regulators have been more ambivalent toward Basel II, and chose to maintain relatively more stringent regulations (at least, in the formal regulated banking sector) such as the cap on bank leverage.
As I read it, the upshot of this paper is to draw attention to Europe as the locus of the Minsky/Kindleberger euphoria.* Shin suggests that the creation of the euro in 1999 is what kicked off the huge expansion in the balance sheets of European banks.
*Tyler Cowen prefers to call this Austro-Austrian.
A lot of economists would say that you cannot shrink those balance sheets without causing horrible macro effects. That view, in turn, would justify a bailout. I am a holdout against that view.