My `pro bono' work
A PERSONAL STATEMENT
As a dedicated Europhile, I have always offered my experience and insights in key fields to EU and national policy-makers on a `pro bono’ basis. Your support will enable me to maintain and extend this commitment at a time when "hard" Brexit risks are rising and there are rapid changes in financial sector regulation which may well have profound influences on the supply of, and demand for, different asset classes.
Why do I do this pro bono work? I was asked this live on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” a while ago – see the clip of my answer (including the essence of the Temporary Eurobill Fund). The twists and turns of my career have given me a depth and range of experience of participating in the financial markets and politics of Europe for more than 40 years. This breadth enables me to draw out the vital linkages between political, financial and economic events.
Those twists and turns were not entirely happenstance: I still recall the tales told to me, when I was a little boy, by my grandfather of events - now a century ago - about the suffering he experienced at Ypres and in the trenches of the Somme. I founded a European Society at University and spent New Year’s Eve of 1992 on a cross-Channel ferry to celebrate free movement of people across borders. That ship was organised by the Kangaroo Group: I was elected to its Board just over a decade later. I have always felt very honoured to serve on various Committees/working groups of the European Commission (see details in my biography) whilst employed by Salomon Brothers. One such group was the `Maas Committee' of Independent Experts that designed the changeover to the euro - putting me amongst the architects of the euro. However, my pro bono work nowadays is at my own expense.
This personal commitment - spanning decades - to a deepening of European financial and political integration has put me in an ideal position to speak with the complete freedom of an independent commentator.
However, there has been a heavy price to pay in recent years: the long recession in financial services has been particularly difficult for small suppliers as it is all too easy for companies to snip them off the budget, rather than cut a large supplier with all the knock-on complexities for other services. One result is that no major City of London financial institution supports my work today. This seems a remarkable situation as the logical result of my proposals for, say, Capital Market Union (CMU) should be very beneficial to investors - and thus the firms in the City of London who manage the funds or supply securities to the managers. The personal cost has been very considerable and I would be most grateful for any support you can offer in the future.