Will talent flee to the City?

A different take on possible effects of lawmakers’ rabble-rousing on TARP bonuses. Jeffrey Goldfarb at breakingviews.com says that driving out talented financial executives in the U.S. may be a boon for foreign-owned banks in the U.S. in getting new talent, but most especially for London and its global financial powerhouse, the City. Sarbanes-Oxley already caused financial institutions to flee New York for London. The 90 percent tax rate on TARP bonuses might provide a new impetus for savvy executives to relocate.

Still, with London house prices down, and no “Keep Out” signs for foreigners – think TARP-related Visa restrictions in the U.S. – many of those who can choose their continents may soon be thinking the City is something of a safe haven with better job opportunities, as long as the UK doesn’t wind up succumbing to mob rule too.

Maybe London could adapt the Statue of Liberty’s quotation to: “Give me your tired, your rich, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”