Now that we are free of a the potential of Socialist interference in markets, we can look once again at what the new Government is doing and whether that will really help much.
One interesting article in the Financial Times (much a better read when there is no election coverage in its dripping pink pages. Seems the Keyensians has been routed too there), which describes how many of the Investment Banks are taking a dim view of the Governments continuing bank levy.
In a world of low interest rates and free QE money for the Banks, it can be hard to make a buck. So the Bank levy, which has been increased each year just to raise as much as the year before, can have a big effect.
Lots of the trades banks are now doing make very little real money. The Repo desks are a haven for this. Billions of dollars of transactions for fractions of a percent profit. (All Socially useless once might say, but that one is currently drinking himself into a stupor in North London).
Yet these trades are hi by the Bank levy and also the Bank are less than impressed about real regulation which has caused them to be fined repeatedly for market abuse. The latter no one can doubt, the Banks hate getting caught rigging markets but of course this is exactly what needs to happen to make a market work.
The fact the Banks want to go to Hon Kong or elsewhere where they can openly abuse their clients is their look out. Moves in the that direction are welcome as the reasons for it are unjust.
The Bank Levy though is different, it relies on Banks no shrinking their balance sheets to raise revenue when of course its imposition incentiveses banks shrink their balance sheets. Moving UK operations to other places in Europe or the US where there are no Bank Levy's is a bad thing.
The City in the UK, despite the past few years, is in a delicate state. The large investment banks are mainly gone, destroyed by the financial crisis. RBS is shut, Barclays heading the same way. UBS and Credit Suisse are a shadow of what they were. In their place is Sovereign Wealth Funds, moving in with their money. But they are not the same and not really HQ'd here and one day we will discover they can use Sovereign immunity to help erase their poor commercial decisions.
The West needs a robust capital industry more so now than ever, with QE money sloshing around and huge fiscal challenges to be overcome in the next two decades. Some thought around tax incentives would be welcome in the June emergency budget.