NY, London: Fake Losers

Have you noticed that both New York and London claim to be losing the race to become the world's top financial center? Last year New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg fretted that his city is behind, citing a McKinsey survey that blamed onerous SOX regulations imposed after the Enron-era scandals. Then last week the City of London Corporation released its own survey saying, no, London is losing, due to rising British taxes.

Numbers can be spun any which way—New York leads in some market categories, London in others. The real point of declaring defeat is political. The London report comes out as city insiders admit they are fighting a proposed tax hike for expatriates in Britain. New York commissioned the 2007 McKinsey survey as part of an effort to overturn SOX. In truth, "London and New York are more like each other than not," says the London School of Economics' Tony Travers. Both are phony losers.

Join the Discussion