When the BBC reported last month that Arron Banks had given £450,000 to Nigel Farage, I tweeted ironically: “So now we know why Mr Farage keeps banging on about leaving the EU. He’s been funded by a notorious Eurosceptic”. As should be obvious, the joke here is that everybody knows that Nigel Farage has been ... Continue reading

Catherine McBride writes for City AM

Catherine McBride, Senior Economist in the International Trade and Competition Unit at the IEA, writes for City AM on the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid) II. The regulatory reform was designed to improve competition and transparency but, Catherine argues, increases costs for smaller financial services companies, shutting them out from capital raising opportunities. Read ... Continue reading

IEA Financial Services unit releases report outlining the unintended consequences of MifID II regulations

MiFID II, together with MiFIR (Regulation (EU) No 600/2014), was intended to create a more transparent, competitive and integrated financial market in the EU by reducing trading outside regulated markets, increasing protection for investors and consumers, and improving financial stability. The Directive harmonises the EU regulatory regime with respect to organisational requirements for investment firms, ... Continue reading
The freedom to provide and use digital services is under sustained attack. The EU’s new Copyright Directive places a heavy burden on website operators who make user-generated content available – compelling them to filter suspected infringing content, in a misplaced attempt to turn back the clock and protect rights holders and newspapers from new ways ... Continue reading

Victoria Hewson writes for CapX

In a piece for CapX, Victoria Hewson - Senior Counsel for the IEA's International Trade and Competition Unit - writes that our digital freedoms are under threat from luddite legislation initiated by the EU and UK governments. The freedom to provide and use digital services is under sustained attack. The EU’s new Copyright Directive places ... Continue reading

Catherine McBride writes for CapX

Catherine McBride, Senior Economist at the IEA's International Trade and Competition Unit, writes for CapX on the need to protect activist shareholders. Catherine argues that the UK's financial markets have been successful because they enable financial natural selection, allowing well-run companies to harass market forces and allow takeovers where beneficial for the organisation. Read the ... Continue reading

The benefits of unprotected capitalism and unruly shareholders

Summary Free-market capitalism requires creative destruction. It is important that poorly performing companies are allowed to go out of business or allowed to be taken over, and it is equally important that new companies are able to replace them. If company management is not maximising shareholder value, then the shareholders should be entitled to act. ... Continue reading
The government should resist the urge to introduce subsidies or regulatory protection to prop up failing companies or industries, according to a new briefing from the Institute of Economic Affairs. Handing out subsidies to protect poorly performing businesses, or increasing regulation to protect a company’s management from shareholder influence typically fails to stop the inevitable ... Continue reading
It was hard not to raise a wry smile at the story of how the European Commission’s own Code of Practice on Disinformation threatened to undermine political parties’ campaigning during the forthcoming European parliament elections. As reported by Politico, Facebook’s new terms of business for political advertising required that advertisers must be registered in the ... Continue reading

Mark Littlewood quoted in The Telegraph

Mark Littlewood, Director-General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, is quoted in The Telegraph, responding to the government's new White Paper on online harms. He argues that the proposals - which include blocking platforms which do not comply with new regulations - are the first step to state censorship of the internet. Read the full ... Continue reading