Breeden snaps back at Brittan

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The Independent Online
RICHARD BREEDEN, chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, yesterday retaliated in a row over international capital standards for securities trading, calling remarks by Sir Leon Brittan 'ill-informed' and saying politicians should mind their own business, writes Lisa Vaughan.

Sir Leon, a vice-president of the European Commission, earlier this week criticised the US position on international capital requirements for securities firms.

Mr Breeden described the EC's capital adequacy directive as unsafe and imprudent. Asked about prospects for compromise with the SEC's system, he said: 'If we have any more ill-informed remarks like Sir Leon's, the prospects are not good . . . the politicians need to stay out of it, and leave it to the professionals until we get it done.'

Regulators debated the controversial subject but did not resolve it this week at the International Organisation of Securities Commissions annual meeting, which ended in London yesterday.

Mr Breeden denied that the SEC was trying to impose its system abroad, but said decisions on capital must not be rushed.

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