International Trade and Chimpanzees
America and the EU are 95% aligned on transatlantic financial regulation, but the 5% isn't insignificant... it's what separates humans from chimpanzees. That 95% agreement point was commonly repeated during the Atlantic Council's conference on transatlantic financial reform in the Dirksen Senate Building (though chimpanzees were brought into the picture just once and it garnered a big laugh). Panelists said that sticking points could come up regarding timeline, CFTC, and the Volcker Rule. We snapped Atlantic Council board director and former Ambassador to the EU and White House Counsel, C. Boyden Gray.
Part of the EU Delegation to the US, here's Sven Gentner with Cleary Gottlieb partner and former FDIC GC Michael Krimminger, Thomson Reuters' Douwe Miedema, SEC assistant director Robert Peterson, and Rock Creek VP Clay Lowery. There was some disagreement on whether TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) was an appropriate vehicle for financial regulations.
We also found Treasury deputy assistant director for international monetary and financial policy Mark Sobel with Harvard Law professor Howell Jackson. As a professor, Howell said he'd give regulators on both sides of the Atlantic good grades, though he says we'd all agree that more should be done. Another of the panel members, Promontory Financial Group NY head Elizabeth McCaul, pointed out that harmonization itself isn't the goal. The real goals include financial stability, management of risk, and protecting investors.