Five years after Lehman Brothers sank on Sept. 15, 2008, triggering the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Morgan Stanley is safe enough to survive a shock that devastating, Porat said. She and Chief Executive Officer James Gorman, with prodding from regulators, led a drive to cut risk and boost capital to soften the next blow.
While the amount of capital at the six largest U.S. lenders has almost doubled since 2008, policy makers and some Wall Street veterans say that’s not enough. They see a system still too leveraged, complicated and interconnected to withstand a panic, and regulators ill-equipped to head one off — the same conditions that led to the last crisis.
“We’re safer, but we’re not safe enough,” said Stefan Walter, who led global efforts to revise capital rules as general secretary of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.
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