Let’s Level The Rules Of Finance

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My latest column in Forbes is here, looking at the issue of EU hedge fund regulation.

As I argue:

Like it or not international finance needs rules and they need to be consistent. Creating competitive advantage by manipulating the rules does not mean there are winners or losers as a consequence – it means there is no game and only losers. Rules are not anti-competitive. Even Friedman recognized that they make free competition possible.

Brussels is saying that real people–the people of Greece and maybe the E.U. itself–are losing out right now as a result of lax financial regulations largely set by London and Washington. The two financial capitals are signalling that they don’t care, but they should. Unless regulations are levelled upwards so that international finance is a game all can partake in to mutual benefit, there would be no game at all–and that would be a protectionist disaster.

One that the so called free marketeers seem to desire.