Global attempts to overhaul financial regulation are exacerbating a synchronized slowdown of the world economy, in part because they are poorly coordinated and not fully defined, said Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer of Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California.
The “incomplete and often faltering regulatory effort” has heightened uncertainty in financial markets, constraining the flow of credit and inhibiting the growth of the global economy, he said in prepared remarks to a seminar in Washington. The economic impact of the “patchwork” of at times differing reforms worldwide “may well be consequential,” he added.
“At Pimco, our periodic assessment of the regulatory landscape now always includes recognition of how much is still in flux and, essentially, both unknowable and unquantifiable at this stage,” said El-Erian, whose company manages the world’s largest bond fund. “The result is yet another uncertainty and complexity risk premium” built into financial markets.
Stocks tumbled last week amid signs of slowing growth around the world. U.S. employers added 69,000 workers in May, the least in a year. A gauge of manufacturing in the 17-nation euro zone fell to a three-year low, while unemployment reached a record 11 percent. And China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index dropped to its lowest since December.
El-Erian said that he’s not calling on regulators to slacken their efforts to transform oversight of financial markets and institutions.
“The response to this is not -- and I stress not -- to slow regulatory reform,” he planned to tell the seminar, jointly sponsored by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Federal Reserve. “Instead, the proper response is to proceed in a more coherent and coordinated fashion.”
While the U.S. and other countries have pledged to work together on financial reform, “the reality is disappointing,” he said.
El-Erian took some financial institutions to task for what he called “excessive lobbying” aimed at influencing the shape of the regulatory changes. He did not specify to which companies he was referring.
“Some of today’s lobbying practices go well beyond the legitimate objective of bringing better data and analysis to the table,” he said. “In several cases, excessive lobbying has created disruptive tangents and made the desirable overhaul of regulation hostage to very specific micro issues that are of relevance to only a small group of institutions.”
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