Today's DT business section has their leader on the G20 entitled, "Now its down to politics the crisis is starting to turn really ugly". The brutish German finance minister Peer Steinbruck and the short 'Napoleon' Sarkozy are demanding draconian regulation of the banks, hedge funds, markets etc to 'prevent' another crisis. That is like trying to stop the tide. Financial crises, like the poor, will always be with us.
Their actions have little to do with rational banking reforms. They are mainly aimed at getting the lucrative business out of the City of London to Paris and Frankfurt. They had expected this to happen naturally when at the end of 1999 the Euro markets were formed and business was expected to flow to the Continent. Much to the chagrin of the French and Germans this did not happen and comments about German 'concrete heads' were rife. So now they are having a second bite at the cherry.
Sound familiar? It should. Its exactly what happened in 1972 when the Common Market pushed through its common fisheries policy just prior to Heath signing the accession treaty. We had the largest, richest, best run fishing grounds in Europe and the Common Market fishermaen wanted to get their hands on them. Heath gave it to them as a price worth paying but more importantly because the fishermen had few votes in Tory seats. Its the same this time except the fund managers, bankers and their staff reside in the South East where there are a large number of Labour marginals. Also the money men have the hearts, minds and gonads of many of our MPs and Lords. Its a much tougher battle for the EU this time and I would not like to bet on the result. I am certain however that if the EU wins the gnomes of Zurich will celebrate.
I see also in the DT business today that Godders Bloom UKIP MEP has been 'breaking with decorum' at a Mansion House dinner last night by heckling the saintly Lord Turner about FSA bonuses. Mr Bloom often becomes more outspoken as the evening wears on and the good Lord is quoted as retorting, "I don't know who this chap is, but could you go back and start handing out your pamphlets outside this room and stop interrupting." I think I may offer Godders my old copy of "How to win friends and influence people", that I no longer need.