Letter from the Editor – Fall 2011

The financial crisis began in 2007, deepened with the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, and appears likely to continue given the sovereign debt woes spreading across a shaky European Union. The forces battling the crisis have mainly included banking regulators, financial markets experts and macroeconomists. But the antitrust profession has gotten some work, too.

Some of that work is fortuitous. Sir John Vickers and Mario Monti were enlisted because of their sidelines in banking and monetary affairs. Ex-U.K. OFT head Vickers chaired the U.K.’s Independent Commission on Banking in 2011. Former EU Competition Policy Commissioner Monti (and CPI Editorial Board Member) was appointed Prime Minister of Italy in November 2011 to help dig the country out of its dismal economic condition. Some of it is part of antitrust’s day job-the Directorate General for Competition Policy has kept busy in 2008 and 2009 examining whether bank bailouts were consistent with State Aid rules, and of course many lawyers have worked on the fallout from those inquiries. Still others heard the phrase “Too Big to Fail” as a rallying cry for the antitrust profession to say, not so fast. Beyond this, the financial crisis and proposed solutions to it have raised antitrust questions from the state of competition in an increasingly consolidated banking system to possible creation of market power in central clearing houses for derivatives.

This Autumn 2011 issue of Competition Policy International focus…

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