New Approach for Transatlantic Free Trade

In his speech on 11 May 2012 before the American chamber of trade in Germany, the AmCham Germany in Hamburg, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht favoured the prompt commencement of negotiations regarding a comprehensive trade agreement with the USA.

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Slight Growth Expected in the EU for 2013

"A recovery is in sight," is how Olli Rehn, Commission Vice President responsible for the economy, summarised the EU spring report released on 11 May 2012. Nevertheless the economic situation remains fragile since, as Rehn noted, the position of various member states differs.

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EU Looking for Ways to Regulate Shadow Banks

So-called 'non-banks' are by no means demonized by the European Commission. In fact the contrary is true as, from the Commission's perspective, they represent an additional source of financing and offer investors alternatives to bank deposits. However, they also present a risk to the entire finance system. The EU wishes to counteract this risk potential by regulating the shadow banking system.

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Switzerland Financial Community to Balance Legal Compliance and Attractiveness to Investors

On 22 February 2012 the Swiss government (Bundesrat, federal council of Switzerland) reviewed and stated its support for the discussion paper "Strategy for a Competitive Financial Community Conforming to Tax Laws". The stated goal is to continue offering favourable and competitive conditions for the financial community in Switzerland while simultaneously finding international acceptance from the investors' home countries that are concerned about their taxes.

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Switzerland must adjust to lower growth in the EU

Even Switzerland, long impervious to crisis, is facing uncertain economic years ahead, to which it must proactively adapt. That is the most important message contained in the OECD Economic Survey of Switzerland which was presented on January 24th 2012 in Berne by OECD General-Secretary Angel Gurría and Swiss Federal Councilor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann.

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EU Commission wants to obligate rating agencies

EU Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier, speaking in Straßburg on 15 November 2011, declared that ratings must no longer be allowed to aggravate market volatility. He presented EU Commission proposals for a directive as well as a regulation for the stricter control of rating agencies. No business is conducted on the bond market without a credit rating from a rating agency. This is not only a long-standing practice, but also demanded by government regulation in some countries – for example the provisions of the SEC regulatory authority in the USA.

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