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Reinhard Petschnigg

20 September 2005
The paper takes a closer look at the institutional set-up of financial markets in the United States of America and investigates whether the US can serve as a model for the EU. The overall conclusion is that the US institutional set-up as a whole does not seem to be a suitable benchmark for the EU as it is the outcome of specific historical, political and economic circumstances, which differ substantially from those in the EU. Nevertheless, there are features which could provide inspiration for further debate on the EU institutional framework, such as the prominent role of federal regulatory agencies (including the central bank and its role as "umbrella supervisor" over financial holding companies), the capacity of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) as a federal institution to remove barriers to cross-border activities, and the elements of choice for the supervised entities in the regulatory system, which allow for some regulatory competition.
JEL Code
F3 : International Economics→International Finance
H4 : Public Economics→Publicly Provided Goods