Published in EUobserver, 30 January 2008
The meeting in London on Tuesday between the government leaders of Europe’s biggest economies called for more transparency in the financial institutions, as a response to the current economic turmoil around the world. It is easy to understand why.
Politicians such as Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy are trying to make plans for the future of their national economies, and they don’t want those plans to be blown off course by an unexpected financial hurricane. They want to be able to see what is going on, to be able to prepare for it, influence it, or even control it. They have a strong interest in what goes on in the financial markets, so they need more transparency.
Of course, heads of government are not the only people who have an interest in the big decisions taken around the world, and they are not the only people who will benefit from more transparency. The same is true for citizens, too.
Europe’s governments should apply to themselves the same principles they seek to apply to others.
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