Michel Barnier, EU Internal Market and Services Commissioner
Friday 14 January 2011 - by Andrew Hickley
Having referred to 2010 as a "strategic year of convergence between the EU and United States", Barnier has been arguably Europe's most vocal player on the regulatory scene since taking office in February 2010.
Having referred to comments that increased taxes may force the relocation of bankers out of Europe as "blackmail", he also caused anger when rejecting the chance to speak to the UK's Treasury Select Committee over any bias in the regulation coming out of Brussels - a stance he eventually u-turned on by taking a pre-Christmas trip to Westminster after a strongly worded letter from Treasury Select Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie.
Intervention from US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and British regulators helped prevent the passing of a disastrous Alternative Investment Managers Directive which he had endorsed. While Czech central bank vice-governor Mojmir Hampl recently labelled some of Barnier's policies regarding mandatory deposit guarantees as "amusing, if the issue was not so serious".
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