Gordon Brown: Mister Fox' transcript
First, there are a number of words which seem to be exactly what we'd like to hear. Such as:
"We are fashioning for the future a global deal, a grand bargain where each continent accepts its responsibility and its obligations to act to deal with what is a global problem that can only be solved with a global solution."
Nothing new there, but it's the right thing to say.
"We must persuade the whole of the world to take action and that will include action against regulatory and tax havens in parts of the world which have escaped the regulatory attention that they need."
Again, the right thing to say - and we do like his use of the term "regulatory and tax havens."
"We have got to think the previously unthinkable, we have got to do what was previously undoable, the cooperation that is needed round the world is not something that has been achieved before but I believe it can be achieved to meet the needs of our times."
We agree, again. But then he starts criticising the U.S. system, and adds this:
"I am very happy to say that our regulatory system has been a better system but it is still not good enough to meet the changing challenges of the times. . . . . We created the right framework, a unified regulator, we actually monitored companies across all their different activities and not just their insurance activities or their banking activities, but we have got to learn the lessons of what has happened around the world."
So just what kind of regulation is he talking about? Note, too, that he rather dodged this question:
Question: "You said in your earlier remarks that the new regulatory system would have to have jurisdiction in all jurisdictions, including tax havens. Can I ask which ones do you have in mind, are they ones that come under the UK Crown, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, or is it more the Cayman Islands and Lichtenstein? And under this new regulatory system how much more tax revenue from those tax havens do you hope to get for HMRC?"
Then, finally, we note that he gives away this:
"I have been pressing for what is necessary, an international system of regulation, for ten years."
Ah yes, so we've noticed, Mister Fox.