Word has it – from respectable sources – that Michel Barnier, the incoming Internal Markets Commissioner, thinks Stock Exchanges should be part of the national infrastructure. Hmm.
In some eyes, an exchange should assist with the creation of an orderly market.
You can certainly put a case for MiFID creating a disorderly market. Outgoing Commissioner Charlie McCreevy and the EC has run the market through hell and high water putting MiFID in place. Shaking it up any more would be disastrous.
Could he effect changes anyway? Would Sarko back such changes? Is it ’populist twaddle’ as one esteemed observer put it? But the chaps at the bourses can’t be too happy. They are presumably lobbying like the tobacco industry right now. They all want competition. The US has invested heavily in competitive Europe.
On the 11th January Barnier will be in place and we shall see whether he still holds this view. It could be a ploy, letting him start on the front foot. It could be populist twaddle. But it could be madness.