Will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights?Not too many years ago, there was a serious discussion going on as to whether London had surpassed New York as the world's great financial center. Unfortunately for proponents of the former, the U.K.'s European "allies" seem hell-bent on ensuring that the Big Apple has more to worry about from Singapore.
After losing its battle to keep an unfriendly Frenchman out of the EU's top financial regulatory spot, the Brits were again rebuffed in their efforts to make it easier to ignore any untoward diktats from Brussels. So if when the new European Systemic Risk Board decides to step in, London's going to have to garner the support of 13 other countries to get the ruling overturned. Britain had wanted that burden to fall on the regulator.
"The U.K. had some major difficulties in accepting that the new European bodies"--covering banking, securities, and insurance and pensions--"would be able to take decisions," a guy from Luxembourg said. Luxembourg!
Tant pis: "It is a European supervisor with teeth and it can even bite," The Netherlands' Wouter Bos boasted.
Seventy-five years ago, Churchill demanded that those who favored ignoring "the continent of Europe" come up with a plan to "unfasten the British islands from their rock foundations" and "tow them 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, and anchor them safely upon the smiling coasts of Canada." Any progress on that front?
European Union agrees super-regulator to head off financial crises [Guardian]
U.K.'s Darling Loses Brussels Fight to Rein in EU Bank Watchdog [Bloomberg]
EU Ministers Compromise on Market-Oversight Plan [WSJ]