Financial competitiveness – part 12

Remember all the talk about how America was losing its competitive edge in financial services? For “America”, read “New York City”, of course. Well, the concern may be lessening. At a conference on the future of New York hosted by the Economist on Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg was apparently very upbeat. According to the New York Times City Blog – “Economic Threat From London? Not to Worry, Mayor Insists”, “Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — fresh from a visit to England, during which he stayed at his London apartment — presented an extremely cheerful report card on the state of New York’s economy.” Later panelists apparently talked about how NYC could stay competitive (unlike the Mets) — but there did not seem to be any wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Is there really a threat of London gaining ground on NYC as a financial center? Probably yes. Is it a major blow to the US financial services industry? Probably no. Improvements to US financial regulation and other economic policies are needed — not just for the competitiveness of NYC as a financial hub but for the economic system of the US as a whole. As we develop our I-Cubed Economy, our policies will need to catch up with where our financial system has already gone.
But, as for all the hype of the-sky-is-falling, a quote from that wonderful New York show – Saturday Night Live – may be called for: “never mind”.


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