Regulatory Burdens Threaten New York's Role as a Financial Center

It's easier for firms to do business elsewhere, so they do


In early 2007, on the eve of the global financial crisis, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and US Senator Chuck Schumer came together to warn that the city was at risk of losing its status as a world financial centre before the next decade was out.

They had commissioned the consultant McKinsey to prepare a report on the matter – and the conclusions were anything but positive. The ever-present threat of litigation, the burden of what was labelled "complex and unresponsive" regulation, and hurdles to hiring foreign staff were, the report claimed, blunting New York's edge.

Five years on and, to many observers, things look little different, with moans about how New York is losing – or has lost – its mojo rising like smoke-signals from the financial district in lower Manhattan.