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Are we seeing the creation of a worldwide financial services regulator?

Barack Obama seems intent on taking a similar path to Gordon Brown with the indication that the US authorities are looking to put in place a new watchdog for the financial services industry. There is speculation that while Gordon Brown is looking to retain the FSA as the domestic regulator in the UK, he is pushing strongly for closer ties between international regulators. There is no doubt that the investment markets have moved ahead over the last decade or so and we are now seeing around the world dealing on a 24-hour basis. Perhaps now is the time for a worldwide regulator?

Ultimately it looks as though governments around the world are looking to bring regulators closer together but whether this is a practical solution very much remains to be seen. As we mentioned in some of our earlier posts, there has been behind-the-scenes friction between many regulators around the world in the past with information exchanges fairly infrequent and only conducted as a last resort.

It will be interesting to see how the new US watchdog develops and whether Gordon Brown is able to involve the FSA in some kind of information swapping and regulatory approval crossover.

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