The MT Diary: Howard Davies

Our new diarist, the ex-head of the FSA, hands in his badge and heads off for academe.

In my last two weeks as a financial regulator, our little world was dominated by the decline and fall of Dick Grasso at the New York Stock Exchange. Grasso had protected the exchange for more than a decade, preserving its extraordinary Spanish practices - specialists and open outcry on the trading floor - against all the odds.

No wonder his members were grateful. But the dollar signs attached to their gratitude clearly overstepped the mark, and he had to go. I suspect John Reed, the former Citibank chairman brought in to plug the gap, will bring more change to the market than its denizens expect, which will be no bad thing.

Grasso was always an entertaining host, but with two off-putting characteristics.

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