The tenure of E.U. Commissioner for the Internal Market Michel Barnier has been historic and his legacy will be farreaching. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, Commissioner Barnier ushered in a series of financial reform measures involving derivatives, credit rating agencies, hedge funds and private equity fiunds, mutual funds, and financial instruments. On his watch, the E.U. also set up a Recovery and Resolution regime similar to the orderly resolution authority established by the Dodd-Frank Act. While the U.S. enacted the omnibus Dodd-Frank Act to deal with many areas of financial reform, the E.U. took the path of many disctrete pieces of legislation.
Commissioner Barnier has always recognized that the financial crisis was global in nature and that the regulatory solution must be globally consistent, congruent and harmonized. In that spirit, he recenly called on U.S. and E.U. trade negotiators to include the harmionizaiton of derivatives regulation in their talks so that regulatory convergence and the avoidance of arbitrage can elevated to a Treaty level since it does not apprear that voluntary harmonization is working in this area. Commissioner Barnier said that global derivatives markets need worldwide standards and national rules that work together seamlessly.