Gordon Brown demands global financial regulator
Gordon Brown said on Wednesday that he has already discussed with other leaders his idea that the top finance houses be overseen by international colleges of supervisors instead of separate national regulators, Telegraph reported.
The European Union is already working on plans for such colleges, but the prime minister's idea stretches further afield to include the United States and Japan. Mr Brown said that the post-war financial system shaped by the Bretton Woods conference 64 years ago - which included setting up the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - was no longer fit for purpose.
He tabled a series of proposals at an EU summit yesterday for what he called "stage two" of a project to reshape the financial world order. The document calls for tougher supervision of banks, a global "early warning system" to identify future financial troubles and agreement on a world trade deal to banish international protectionism.
Mr Brown said he expected the Group of Eight industrialised nations - America, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Russia - plus emerging nations such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa to hold a summit on financial reform in November or December.
As a first step, the world's largest 30 multinational finance houses should be brought under the scrutiny of new bodies capable of monitoring their activities globally, Mr Brown said. It would "end concealment" of financial transactions and shine a light on the "shadow banking market", he added.
Experts on regulation said Mr Brown's idea was a good one - but they questioned if it could work in practice. Simon Gleeson, a partner at law firm Clifford Chance, believes the tendency for countries to revert back to "national solutions" when things go wrong would be strong.
Containing global supervision to just the top 30 institutions made the idea less complicated, but would still require a "huge amount of political will," he said.