Brussels for Breakfast (108)

Hosted by the British Bankers' Association

March 24 2015


  • Graham Bishop (

  • Bob Penn (Allen & Overy)

  • Raoul Ruparel (Open Europe)


Well, now we have Lord Hill’s Green Paper, so we know what Capital Markets Union means – at least I think we do. We also had a rare victory for the UK on the vexed issue of euro clearing, which is nice to see.

But that’s about where the good news stops. The rest seems (to me, at least) just as uncertain and potentially dangerous as usual – something that (I gather) Open Europe concedes in its latest report on the dangers to the City. There is obviously a clear and present danger that the Greek crisis will rip the Eurozone apart – and that is, not surprisingly, focusing politicians’ attention, possibly to the detriment of the Single Market. There is also the ECB’s wildly ambitious QE programme: is it a real solution, or is it just kicking the can further down the road? (And just where are those sovereign bonds going to come from, given the constraints the Bank has placed on itself?)

I could go on. Card caps, for instance. But the important thing is that, as always, Graham Bishop (eponymous proprietor of is here to explain things in simple language that even an elderly euro-realist like me can understand. And, just in case he flags (or the questions get really difficult), he has legal back-up this month. Bob Penn is a partner at Allen & Overy, who has been leading for the firm on the European financial services reform agenda – including the interminable debate over recovery and resolution, Basel etc. He also sits on the IIF’s Special Committee on Effective Regulation and on the BBA’s High-level Group on Financial Stability. It’s his first time, so a special welcome… We are delighted also to welcome another first-timer, Raoul Ruparel, head of economic research at the think tank Open Europe. Raoul has been leading Open Europe’s research on financial regulation, CMU and the Eurozone crisis. In addition to his day job, he is a frequent media contributor, including a regular slot writing for Forbes on EU issues.