Amazing press release form the Treasury yesterday. It said:
The establishment of a new International Centre for Financial Regulation (ICFR), to be led by Barbara Ridpath as CEO, was announced today by Economic Secretary and City Minister Kitty Usher and Interim ICFR Chairman, Mervyn Davies.
The ICFR is an industry-led project independent of the UK Government and will be officially launched at the end of the year and aims to become an international centre of excellence focused entirely on financial regulation.
More than £5 million in funding to support the Centre's establishment will be provided by 19 financial services firms and The City of London Corporation. The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) will also release the £2.5 million that the Government has committed to the project.
And who is to lead this wondrous new venture?:
Barbara Ridpath, today confirmed as the Centre's CEO, is currently Executive Managing Director and Head of Ratings Services Europe at Standard and Poor's.
Excuse me? Isn't this the same Standard & Poor's that issued all the triple A credit ratings in return for substantial fees that just got us into the credit crunch mess in the first place?
Is it any surprise as a result that Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany said this week:
Continental Europe should take the lead in devising new rules for financial markets because the Anglo-Saxon model of regulation has failed, Angela Merkel has told the Financial Times.
The German chancellor said ahead of next month's Group of Eight summit, which is expected to discuss new regulation, that the largely "Anglo-Saxon" organisation of financial markets undervalued the growing weight and importance of the Eurozone.
We've got a lot to learn as yet. And you can be sure that the International Centre for Financial Regulation will not help us do so.