What influence does the financial lobby have over banking regulation and other financial markets?
In 2015 the European Central Bank tightened its ethics rules in the wake of a major scandal over privileged information it gave to select financiers. In the future there will be more restrictions on the way the leadership associates with representatives of financial corporations. But the discoveries from the scandal seems to have no bearing on the way the ECB's top brass deals with the quasi-lobby Group of Thirty.
Juncker´s transparency initiative shows only tip of the iceberg
The investment bank Goldman Sachs has revised its registration in the EU's lobby transparency register and has substantially increased its declared lobby spend from the 2013 figure of less than €50,000 to €700,000-€799,999 for 2014. This compounds Corporate Europe Observatory's view that Goldman Sachs' original registration was not a full reflection of its EU lobbying activity. Yet despite this under-reporting, for five months the register secretariat took little action and Goldman Sachs was able to secure at least four meetings with top Commission officials.
Many who walked past the BNP Paribas Fortis' central Brussels branch during their lunch break yesterday were surprised by what they saw: activists-turned-bailiffs removing tables, chairs and other materials from the building, leaving them out on the pavement.
The actions of the European institutions ahead of the Greek elections seem hell bent on undermining a potential new Syriza government. The European Central Bank in particular is taking on an outright political role.
The EU's Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada could unleash a wave of corporate lawsuits against Canada, the EU and its member states – including through the Canadian subsidiaries of US multinational corporations. This is the result of an in-depth analysis of CETA’s investor rights by Corporate Europe Observatory and 14 other environmental NGOs, citizens’ groups and workers unions from both sides of the Atlantic published today.
Is it appropriate to let a former board member of a Deutsche Bank investment fund go straight from there to a key position in the new European supervisory structure for banks? What's the problem with hiring people with strong links to financial corporations to monitor the big banks? Or to be part of decisions on whether measures to ensure financial stability should be imposed on them or not? And can they keep working in the financial sector at the same time?
If you ask the European Central Bank, there is absolutely no problem with this scenario.
Newly-released documents show that as far as financial regulation is concerned, lobbyists are besieging the Commission – which has an open door policy towards them. Can the new Commission fare better? And why is its prospective commissioner responsible for this area, Jonathan Hill, a former financial lobbyist?
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