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Europe meets on global market unrest

Stephen Beard and Doug Krizner Jan 29, 2008
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Europe meets on global market unrest

Stephen Beard and Doug Krizner Jan 29, 2008
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Doug Krizner: Today in London, key European leaders are meeting to talk about the turbulent global economy, and the unrest in financial markets. The timing’s ironic, given the fraud revealed last week at Societe General.

Let’s bring in our European correspondent, Stephen Beard. Stephen, what’s the big issue?

Stephen Beard: Well, what they’re most concerned about is communication. I mean, what they’re apparently going to be calling for is greater transparency and a greater sharing of information, so that everyone’s on the same page, everyone knows what’s happening before major financial crises blow up.

Krizner: Is there much agreement among these European leaders?

Beard: Well, apart from agreeing on greater transparency and greater sharing of information, there are lots of serious differences. The French and the Germans want tougher regulations — they are shocked and appalled by what they see as the excesses of the bonus-driven investment banking industry and they want a crackdown. Whereas the Brits are much more nervous about that — financial services are a much more important part of the U.K. economy. And the Brits can see what happened in the U.S. after Enron and WorldComm. The Brits feel they benefitted from an excessive overreaction by the U.S. by the Sarbanes-Oxley law — which, the Brits feel drove a lot of international business away from New York to London. So they don’t, as they see it, want to make the same mistakes as the Americans.

Krizner: Our Stephen Beard in London. Many thanks, Stephen.

Beard: OK, Doug.

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