Sunday, February 5, 2012

ET, the new alien scaring global markets

(Reuters) - The United States is coming to be seen as a global threat, acting unilaterally with aggressive new market rules that critics say will hurt U.S. firms, foreign banks, and international markets in one swoop.

The new buzzword in the financial world is "extraterritoriality", or ET. The idea that a government can exercise its authority beyond its borders.

The fear is that after the 2007-2009 financial crisis that roiled global markets, some countries will engage in an arms race of tough financial reforms in order to be seen as the safest capital markets, and will haphazardly foist their own rules on other nations.

Despite its talk of a global level playing field, the United States is being portrayed as a rogue country, with its unmatched Volcker rule to curtail banks' risky trades and its accelerated timetable to put in place new derivatives reforms.

The backlash has gained force in recent weeks. Read More