Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Splitting the national securities regulator

That special brand of national leadership failure is on display again from the Harper Conservatives. They can't make a decision on where the office should be for a new federal securities regulator, the one who would be taking the place of all the provincial securities commissions, so they're hatching more patented excellent Conservative strategery: "Ottawa's new securities pitch: One watchdog, several offices." Brilliant. Many offices, spread 'em around. Two to begin, one in Toronto, one in Vancouver, with more offices to come as other provinces sign on. What nonsense. For cost reasons alone there should be one office. Remember, cost? Deficit? And the obvious location is the financial capital of the country. Furthermore:
The plan drafted by Mr. Hyndman’s Canadian Securities Transition Office raises questions about the power structure for the proposed regulator, which on the face of it appears to defeat the purpose of having a single regulator by dispersing decision-making authority in different offices.
Improved enforcement is supposed to be another goal of the national regulator, the dispersed decision-making isn't going to help that cause either.

They really seem to be big on these King Solomon "splitting the baby" decisions these days, at great cost to the nation. And sometimes national enterprises seem to be truly anathema to them. But here they need to pick an office and stick with it. That means sucking it up and picking Toronto.