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The Best City Regulations Ever

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The best City regulations ever

Politicians are nuts about regulations, especially when it comes to the City.

Their starting assumption, one they never challenge, is that rules of any sort are a hindrance to business being done, rather than an aid.

Today we have Battle looms over plans for City shake-up to prime ‘Big-Bang 2.0’.

A predictable collection of fairly terrifying politicians imagine they can grow the economy by unleashing the true potential of the Square Mile, as if it weren’t unleashed enough already.

They want a bill that allows the Bank of England to ditch EU rules as it wishes and for ministers to be able to overrule the Bank, as they see fit.

They mean well, let’s assume, but the initiative is based on a mis-understanding.

As I say, the regulations encourage business since the point is that they are predictable and apply to everyone.

Rich folk find they can’t get around City rules on x,y,z.

It occurs to them this means no-one else can either. That London is a fair, level place to conduct finance. Wheels turn.

The City’s message to the world is: We are open for business, but these are the standards you must meet. If you can’t, you’re not coming in.

The calls to shake-up this arrangement nearly always come from the politicians rather than the bankers. And when enacted they usually backfire.

Back in 2019 there were calls to loosen the listing rules so that London could attract Saudi Aramco. We duly did. They duly listed in Riyadh anyway, and the shares at first flopped.

It was embarrassing all round, a lesson Boris and co totally failed to learn.

It would be good if City folk opposed to whatever is coming in the Mansion House speech tomorrow speak out rather than eye-up a quick buck.

Tell us about the best five City regulations ever, and show how they protected investors and the integrity of London as a place to do business over decades.

There is a PR battle to be fought here and I hope the Bank of England wins it.

It is surely about due a win.

Press release of the day

What should public sector pay rises set out to achieve, asks this from the IFS.

They shouldn’t be used to improve the lot of low-income households struggling with inflation, the piece argues.

There are better tools for that, says the IFS.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) Where will inflation peak first, the eurozone or the UK?

2) If unemployment is still falling, won’t we avoid a recession?

3) Is the Netflix boom well and truly over?

4) What’s the day two market reaction to the Haleon float?

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