Not All Financial Regulation Is Global

Nicolas Véron (PIIE) and Stéphane Rottier (National Bank of Belgium)
Policy Brief
10-22
September 2010

Two major shifts in the global financial regulatory landscape are likely impeding harmonization of global financial regulation: financial multipolarity, meaning the rise of emerging-market economies such as China and the impact of this trend on decision-making at the global level, and financial reregulation, or the trend toward stronger regulation of financial systems to buttress financial stability, particularly in developed economies. As a result, the ambitious objectives initially set by the G-20 leaders in the wake of the unprecedented financial crisis have so far not resulted in major international breakthroughs, warranting a reconsideration of the global financial regulatory agenda. Consistent regulatory choices across the globe are preferable, but achieving consistency involves difficult political and economic tradeoffs. Continued global capital-market integration can no longer be taken for granted. Policymakers should prioritize four key components to ensure the sustainability of financial integration: (1) strong global public institutions to provide a comprehensive analytical picture, set authoritative standards, and foster and monitor the consistency of regulatory practice; (2) globally consistent financial information; (3) new arrangements to enable and supervise globally integrated capital-market infrastructure; and (4) creating a level playing field for global capital-market intermediaries by addressing competitive distortions.