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'Can we trust Vickers?' broods ASI
Thursday 17 Nov 2011 | Regulation Mutters
Free market think tank the Adam Smith Institute has pooh-poohed a planned ring-fencing of UK banks' investment and retail operations. In a damning report on the Independent Commission on Banking, led by Sir John Vickers, the institute says the proposals risk are "built on sand" and bound to fail. "They misunderstand the causes of the 2008 crisis, are too bureaucratic, hinder competition and...
Whatever next? Barnier's hair comes under fire
Thursday 17 Nov 2011 | Regulation Mutters
It appears that European internal market commissioner Michel Barnier has unwittingly made an enemy or two in the UK. In a House of Lords debate on credit rating agencies on Tuesday evening, Lord Myners - former city minister - got rather personal in an attack on the Frenchman. Moving on from lambasting the European Commission's proposals on rating agencies as flawed, the former Labour peer...
Clocking up US national debt in real time
Thursday 17 Nov 2011 | Regulation Mutters
The frankly rather terrifying news that US debt has surpassed the $15tn (€11tn) mark, was only enhanced by the Mutterer stumbling across a real time US national debt clock. There's something particularly chilling about seeing the figures for US national debt, debt per citizen, US federal spending and the US federal budget deficit clocking up right in front of your eyes. The Mutterer also...
Resistance is futile, or is it?
Tuesday 15 Nov 2011 | Regulation Mutters
What started as a strong resistance to New York police descending on Occupy Wall Street campers in the small hours of this morning, ended just three and a half hours later with a completely cleared Zuccotti Park.   Protestors rallied near the middle of the park chanting "Whose park? Our park!" while officers started ripping down tents at 1am local time.   Around 70 people were arrested for...
Angela Merkel's spoof tweets
Photo by European Council Tuesday 8 Nov 2011 | Regulation Mutters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has become the latest high profile person to get her own Twitter impersonator. The spoof twitterer started posting in the past 12 hours under Merkel's name with the subtitle "Lost in the Eurozone". The tweets include amusing references to French and Italian leaders, such as: "Called Berlusconi. Still in bed. Will poke him on Facebook." - a reference to the...
Cheesed off Cameron in French tax gibe
Monday 7 Nov 2011 | Regulation Mutters
UK premier David Cameron is starting to lose his cool over the dreaded financial transaction tax issue. Speaking in Parliament on Monday, in response to a question on the tax, the Prime Minister said that 80 per cent of the revenue raised would be from UK businesses and then rolled out some classic francophobia. "I'm sometimes tempted to ask the French if they would be in favour of a...
Obama spoils Sarkozy's FTT party
Friday 4 Nov 2011 | Regulation Mutters
In case there were any lingering doubts, it was confirmed this week that President Barack Obama is firmly backing the financial sector over the FTT. According to Mike Froman, deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, the president politely declined to accept a proposal from France and Germany for the world to impose the tax - even despite Bill Gates coming on board...
Revealed: How to avoid US corporate taxes
Tuesday 1 Nov 2011 | Regulation Mutters
The Mutterer is awaiting with keen interest a report to be published later this week which claims to expose how corporations in the US are successfully avoiding pay top rate taxes. The report, by the Washington-based Citizens for Tax Justice group, says many major companies are paying far less than the 35 percent official corporate tax rate. Indeed: "Many pay little or nothing as a result of...
How to define automated trading
Tuesday 1 Nov 2011 | Regulation Mutters
The European Securities and Markets Authority's stakeholder group on Friday released a position paper to help regulators with the first challenge in curbing automated trading: Defining it. The group, chaired by Guillaume Prache, managing director of the Federation of European Investors, have put together this snappy definition: "Automated trading, also known as algorithmic trading, can be...
Does retirement beckon for J-C Trichet?
Jean-Claude Trichet - Photo by European Council-Justus Lipsius Monday 31 Oct 2011 | Regulation Mutters
Beware, Mario Draghi, if you hoped your predecessor at the European Central Bank was going to slink away into a quiet retirement. According to Jean-Claude's Trichet's wife he is very much likely to continue working. Madame Trichet told German TV recently that what her husband does next is a "delicate and difficult question". But she added that he would likely find something to occupy his...
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