The event itself actually wasn't as interesting as I was expecting, as the focus of the first to presentations was more on regulatory structures than current themes. One interesting point made was that attempts to create a single market in Europe for financial services had hit problems because you don't actully get much benefit if the frameworks are similar but not the same. The point was made a couple of times that you don't get IT benefits unless systems are the same.
One notable comment from Howard Davies was his surprise that countries like the UK tolerated off-shore tax avoidance. And one point I definitely didn't agree with came from Steve Robson who argued that tax competition gave countries very little room for manouvre and that the Government didn't seem to have grasped this. Basically it's another version of don't kill the goose that laid the golden egg.
John McFall was pretty good. He's one of the few Labour MPs who can talk with some sense about financial markets.
Anyway the book looks fairly good. Meanwhile there is another LSE event in a couple of weeks that I am very keen to get along to:
The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means
Date: Wednesday 21 May 2008
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speakers: George Soros and Howard
I'm actually pretty impressed with Soros. His theory of reflexivity is interesting (to me anyway). This event is another book launch, so another one to add to my stack of reading.