The number of London’s trademark black taxis booked and waiting outside the European headquarters of Goldman Sachs — meters running — was once used by some as a barometer of the health of London’s investment banking business.
So the watchdog can bark after all. Adair Turner, chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Authority, says the financial sector has “swollen beyond its socially useful size”. That is a striking statement for any financial regulator, particularly one that counts promoting London’s financial centre as one of its goals. Identifying the problem, however, is the easy bit. Reversing decades of financial expansion will require global agreement on tough new rules, and the determination to make sure they are consistently enforced.
London, once one of the world’s most expensive cities, now ranks in the middle of the pack of European cities in terms of the cost of living. The sharp drop in the value of British pound largely is to blame for the decline of London’s ranking from the second priciest city three years ago to No. 22, according to a study of comparative purchasing power by UBS of 73 cities around the globe.
Lots of irregular/wobbly cyclists taking to the streets of London today. The tube/subway/metro system is at a standstill due to strike action by transport workers. There were plenty of lycra and day-glo outfits on display, as well as a few brave souls venturing out in their work clothes.