An independent Scotland using the pound outside of a currency union would have a more stable financial system and economy than it has now or than a currency union could provide, argues Sam Bowman. ‘Adaptive sterlingization’ – a combined policy of unilateral use of GBP without a formal currency union and reform of Scottish banking regulations – would reduce risk-taking and increase competition in banking, significantly reducing the prospect of large-scale bank panics and financial crises. The ‘dollarized’ economies of Latin America – Panama, Ecuador and El Salvador – provide strong modern-day evidence that banking systems do better without central lenders of last resort.
Despite all the heated exchanges over UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to renegotiate Britain’s membership of the EU, whether the UK stays in or leaves the EU may not be critical for the City. Far more important, says Tim Ambler, is the need to create a single global market for financial services. In such a global market, the potential for such a leading-edge financial services provider as London is unlimited.
The US Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Standard and Poor’s is misguided, says our legal writer Lawsmith. It was the market’s confidence in the ratings agencies that was at fault, not the agencies themselves.