“You can always rely on America to do the right thing once it has exhausted all the alternatives”
Sadly, the same can’t be said of Britain.
London and New York have fought for the top “Global Financial Centre” spot for years. According to the March 2014 “Global Financial Centres Index” produced by Z/yen, who describe themselves as “the City of London’s leading commercial thinktank”:
“New York is now the leading centre, although its lead over London is statistically insignificant – two points on a scale of 1,000.”
What is it about crusty old London that keeps it head-to-head with glitzy New York? According to a puff-piece by the City of London Corporation the key elements to a Global Financial Centre are:
- Critical Mass; Connectivity; People; Regulation; Domestic Market Infrastructure; Business Environment
Six solid gold attributes that New York and London can both offer. But London offers something even more valuable! In March 2014 the Financial Times reported that the total fines paid since the Banking Crash by banks to US regulators hit the US$100 billion mark:
"Wall Street banks and their foreign rivals have paid out $100bn in US legal settlements since the financial crisis, according to Financial Times research, with more than half of the penalties extracted in the past year."
Figures show that in 2008 both UK and US regulators were fining banks a similar amount - reflecting the fact that the US regulation was then just as spineless as the UK. But by 2013 UK regulatory fines were only one fiftieth US fines.
|Exchange rate US$1.6 = £1|