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PR- 073-07
March 13, 2007


Mayor Brings Fight to Keep New York Financial Capital of the World to Washington

Highlights Need for Single American Regulator of Financial Markets Similar to UK’s Financial System to Keep US Competitive

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined former Chairmen of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker, former United States Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, and former Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission Arthur Levitt, for the Conference on Capital Markets Competitiveness, hosted by the United States Treasury Department.  The panel discussion, moderated by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, focused on regulatory, litigation and immigration reform, three issues critical to the overall market competitiveness of the country and New York City.   In January, Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Charles E. Schumer released a report warning that US financial markets, stifled by stringent regulations and high litigation risks, are in danger of losing business and high skilled workers to overseas competitors, which could threaten to relegate New York to regional market status, and adversely impact the entire U.S. economy.

“Addressing financial competitiveness is not just New York’s problem; its America’s problem,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “With our country facing ever stiffer global competition, now is the time to lay the groundwork for sweeping reforms to ensure the long-term stability of our financial markets and halt the threat of financial jobs and businesses leaving our city and our nation.”

In February, Mayor Bloomberg met with Sir Callum McCarthy, Chairman of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) in London.  Today, the Mayor again proposed a streamlined and responsive regulatory framework, supported by shared principles, similar to the FSA.  Also as part of his testimony today, the Mayor proposed that the Secretary of Treasury work with Federal financial regulators to develop a shared regulatory structure and common rulemaking principles, which will allow a consistent and predictable regulatory environment that preserves high standards of investor protection.

Also today, Mayor Bloomberg reiterated his call for the implementation of securities litigation reform with particular short-term emphasis on leveraging the SEC’s existing authority.  Feedback from financial services executives collected for the report issued in January clearly show that a predictable legal environment is critical to potential financial service firms considering whether to do business in the US markets.

Finally, the Mayor addressed immigration reform during the panel discussion, which is needed to attract and retain the highly-skilled professionals required to increase competitiveness among US based financial services firms and level the playing field for both domestic and foreign companies doing business in the United States. In addition to strengthening control of our national borders, the Mayor proposed raising the cap on H1B visas for skilled workers, enforcing uniform guidelines for B1 visitor visas, and creating a federal database that allows employers to verify the immigration status of those applying for jobs.

“Left unchecked, today’s trends could significantly negatively impact the U.S. economy,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “The United States could miss out on between $15 billion and $30 billion in financial services revenues annually by 2011 if we don’t take action. Those revenues, if retained, could translate into as many as 30,000 to 60,000 American jobs, but we need to act now.  I want to thank the Secretary for convening this panel and I want to thank the bipartisan efforts of everyone who is looking at this issue seriously.”


Stu Loeser / John Gallagher   (212) 788-2958

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