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July 30, 2018

International Deregulation and the Race to the Regulatory Bottom – Again

Wall Street’s biggest banks are not satisfied with just getting deregulation in the U.S.  They are also fighting for deregulation in other countries, which is exactly what happened in the years before the last crash.

The biggest U. S. banks are again encouraging other countries to lower their regulation of finance by offering to locate or keep their businesses in those countries that do so, creating jobs and tax revenue.  London was notorious for doing this in the years leading up to the 2008 crash and even bragged about their “light touch” regulation of finance.  That’s one reason why the crash was so horrific in the UK, with a number of gigantic banks being nationalized, the ultimate taxpayer bailout that continues to bleed public money away from other priorities and programs.  The suffering of the British people from those reckless actions continue to this day.

But even as the people of the UK continue to pay for and suffer from the last crash, the global banks are again urging the UK to cut regulations, threatening to leave and take their jobs and revenue with them if they don’t.  As the Financial Times reported:

“US banks are calling on the British government to cut taxes and red tape that they say could lead to financial assets and jobs pouring out of the UK after Brexit.” 

That so-called “red tape” are the rules put in place to protect the people and taxpayers of the UK from another financial crash.  The biggest US banks are also openly and shamelessly playing one country off another:

“Senior Wall Street executives have warned the UK government ministers that the City of London is losing its competitive edge against New York, especially since US president Donald Trump slashed corporate tax and pushed for looser regulations.”

Remember that the US banks and corporations said that US taxes had to be cut so they could be competitive with other counties.  But, now that the US cuts taxes and regulations, they are arguing in those other countries that they better cut taxes to stay competitive with the US. 

Of course, the UK banks (which all had to be bailed out by UK taxpayers) happily join in the mendacious Janus-faced arguments:

“Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, a lobby group for British lenders, said ‘Competitiveness is a big agenda, and the tax cuts and deregulation in the US have put this firmly on the radar.’”

It’s a vicious circle that just results in a global race to the regulatory bottom and everyone knows where that ends: another catastrophic crash.



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