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only limited consultation necessary on freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime March 30, 2012

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That is what the EU Commission seems to think. The explanatory memorandum for the recent proposal for a directive on freezing and confiscation of the proceeds of crime states:

The proposal has been prepared in accordance with the Commission’s better regulation principles. Minimum standards for consultation of interested parties have been met in the preparation of this proposal and the impact assessment.
Wide consultations and discussions with experts were carried out in the Camden Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network Plenary meeting (September 2010) and in eight meetings of the EU informal Asset Recovery Offices’ Platform between 2009 and 2011.
No open Internet consultation was carried out, as confiscation is a specialised topic where limited expertise is available. Contacts were established with civil society, notably with organisations promoting legality, the fight against organised crime and the protection of the victims of crime.

imf paper on risk-weighted assets March 29, 2012

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Vanessa Le Leslé & Sofiya Avramova, Revisiting Risk-Weighted Assets: Why Do RWAs Differ Across Countries and What Can Be Done About It?, IMF Working Paper WP/12/90 (Mar. 2012). Here’s the abstract:

In this paper, we provide an overview of the concerns surrounding the variations in the calculation of risk-weighted assets (RWAs) across banks and jurisdictions and how this might undermine the Basel III capital adequacy framework. We discuss the key drivers behind the differences in these calculations, drawing upon a sample of systemically important banks from Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. We then discuss a range of policy options that could be explored to fix the actual and perceived problems with RWAs, and improve the use of risk-sensitive capital ratios.

The Basel Capital Adequacy regime is the most intense set of international standards for financial regulation we have. The paper illustrates that for a number of reasons even this regime does not fully harmonize the treatment of risk-weighted assets, partly because different countries have adopted different stages of Basel, and for other reasons. The authors caution that full harmonization might not in fact be ideal because it might lead to herd behavior but they illustrate that bottom line capital ratios disguise a wide range of behaviors with respect to holdings of assets.

this is eu e-skills week March 27, 2012

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our worldwide alumni reunion March 22, 2012

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is tomorrow.

eu commission seeks views on shadow banking and bank accounts March 20, 2012

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Two new consultations: today’s on bank accounts, which focuses on whether there should be EU measures with respect to the lack of transparency and comparability of bank fees, high switching costs, and difficulties of access to basic banking services, and yesterday’s via a green paper on shadow banking.

eu commission asks for examples of double non-taxation March 5, 2012

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This is a “fact-finding public consultation” (responses to be submitted here) according to the staff working paper which states:

It is undesirable that in the EU Internal Market a taxpayer is subject to double non-taxation on his/her cross-border activity as this gives the taxpayer a competitive advantage compared to other taxpayers who are subject to ordinary taxation. Our aim is to obtain a better picture of the real problem and, if possible, of its financial impact. You are also invited to provide any suggestions you might have for ways in which the different cases of double non-taxation could be tackled, for instance by legislative approaches, increased information measures or good governance rules.

increasing participation of women in corporate boards March 5, 2012

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The EU Commission launched a consultation today on gender imbalance on corporate boards (see the Progress Report). The consultation questions move from asking how effective self-regulation is to asking whether there should be sanctions for not meeting objectives. Meanwhile the OECD has a Gender Browser which provides access to data on this issue.