World Leaders Discuss Global Super-Regulator

Scared of more regulation at home? Those fears might prove moot if global discussions give international economic regulators teeth.

From the Wall Street Journal:

A planned international summit on the financial crisis is turning into a debate over the future shape of capitalism, with European leaders favoring greater international oversight of markets, and U.S. officials preferring the current model of national regulation.

Bush aides said Sunday that the current administration views a global regulatory system as a potential threat to competition among nations. That, in turn, could weaken the advantage the U.S. typically has enjoyed in many sectors over more-regulated European rivals in attracting investment. U.S. officials worry, for example, that an international super-regulator could seek restrictions on capital flows between countries and slow down the global move to increase free trade.

Administration officials also question whether a global regulator could regulate more efficiently than national ones. “It’s hard to imagine a super-regulator providing more oversight and supervision than German banking regulators, and yet they were surprised by the failure of their banks,” said a senior Bush administration official. “Being smarter and better doesn’t require a global finance cop.”

Europeans, meanwhile, appear to be worried that keeping a volatile United States in the world’s top financial position (this is the article’s take, not mine) will make for unstable global markets. France’s Nicholas Sarkozy, in particular, sounded interested in establishing a new world financial order to the tune of “we got into this mess together, let’s get out of it together.”

These discussions are about global economic regulation. The mere fact that world leaders are getting together to talk world regulation make domestic policies (nationalization, etc.) look tame.

I’m not enthused to hear about global economic regulation
, even if it’s currently just talk. I don’t see many benefits to it. And we can’t vote on it–leaders engage in these practices unilaterally.


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  • Alan

    Of course the Europeans would like to level the current playing field, which is tilted towards American-style unregulated markets that favors rapid industrial-fueled economic expansion in China, India and the developing East at the expense of the more environmentally & socially constrained mature industiral powers in Europe and, increasingly, in America itself. Our continuously exploding trade deficit and the recent end of our credit-fueled consumption growth means that we are now hanging on to the tightrope of Globalization with but one hand: the injection of public funds via government into the private banking system (partial socialization of our financial system). As the myth of the Service Economy follows heel on the myth of the Dotcom Economy, we are finding out, very painfully, that balanced trade is more important to long-term sustainability than free trade. Duh! Forcing 1st World manufacturers constrained by wages, benefits and environmental protection regulations to compete with 2nd & 3rd world manufacturers who are unconstrained by modern civilized standards of business conduct is a recipe for dismantling the true source of a nations wealth and shipping it somewhere else. National governments have a responsibility to their citizens to create a balanced trade economy that doesn’t leave them dependent upon the global economy or organized cartels for the essentials of life, nor juggling credit cards to cope with a rising cost of living and falling real wages due to a fake digital paper shuffling economy that has outsourced its real wealth production to China. The growing division between rich & poor in the US, and the shrinking of the middleclass, was due the net outflow of US dollars to globalism and the substitution of a credit expansion bubble system for the previous real asset-based economy. The rich have been profiting mightily from the outsourcing of America’s industrial base to China, while the rest of us have been scrambling to stay one step ahead of bankruptcy. Now that your country is awash in red ink, your domestic asset investments are deflating in value, and your children’s financial future is looking more & more uncertain, you are learning what it has felt like being a European during the age of American corporate hegemony. We can only hope that thru global cooperation, and regulations that favor balanced trade, we can soft land this collapsing credit bubble and prevent an even greater financial catastrophe.