"Do not write off New York and London," is the title of an article written by Michael Skapinker in the Financial Times (30th of September). According to his opinion he figures that those two cities will remain leaders in Finance despite the negative publicity in the last month.
Three arguments support his idea:
Language. "Lehman brothers may have gone overnight, it takes centuries for a language to disappear." According to his argument, a global generation has invested years learning English which has no ready challenger.
Law. Despite the outrageous fees for lawyers in both cities, no other city would offer defence for corporate rights, at least not credible: Do you believe Moscow or Shanghia would?
Collective brain power. Although this "may seem laughable given where bankers supposed intelligence has landed us now," but he argues that these cities as they are open will also offer the solution.
"The next 30 years will be different," but London and New York will be back, that is ... according to Skapinker.
Looked at it from an other side, the first argument could be inverted: the world has really become global and English is no longer the language of the US (or Canada) and UK (or Australia), but has become a global language. Also in Finance. Why stick to London or New York for financial matters rather than in Geneva, Amsterdam or Madrid?
Law and lawyers. What will globalization do with law? When at last will law change to be more transparent? It is one of the territories that has escaped any critic, whereas lawyers are (more often) the problem rather than the solution. If there ought to be a single-global-currency, I would argue it to be universal (financial) law.
Collective brainpower? Why are medical specialists so intelligent whereas hospitals (as an institute) can be so foolish? Why can a financial specialist be so smart and a bank so stupid? Knowledge management has failed because of specialization. Both London and New York are symbolic for financial stupidity and that will have to change. We need to think different and cooperate between and over specializations. That wisdom will not come from New York, nor from London. I think.
What about networking? Why would two cities dominate, where there is so much knowledge spread around the world. Rather than two monoliths I would argue that the new financial order is divided between a large network of smaller entities...