Magazine article The Spectator

There's No Such Thing as a Free Regulator, and Already Sir Howard Wants More

Magazine article The Spectator

There's No Such Thing as a Free Regulator, and Already Sir Howard Wants More

Article excerpt

CITY AND SUBURBAN

Guess what Sir Howard Davies wants for Christmas. That's right: regulators. Already his dockside tower is home to 2,000 of them, but now that they are a law unto themselves, he wants more. This week the Financial Services Authority (Sir Howard is its first chairman) formally acquired powers which transcend the Bill of Rights. It is accountable to no one and has its own exemption from judicial review. Indeed, it has its own judicial system, tastefully accommodated in Lady Ottoline Morrell's old town house. To think that all this began with Professor Jim Gower, who said that there was too much regulation already and saw no case for protecting fools from their own folly. All that regulation should do was to try to stop people being made fools of. He put up a scheme for this. …

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