It must be asked after the near collapse of the western financial system whether improved banking regulation can ever be sufficient to prevent structural failure when so much legislative attention is fixed on the investments and practices that sparked the crisis.

What's more, I find it hard to believe that regulation, however well designed and implemented, can "fix" a marketplace where technology and product innovation are continually shifting the floorboards under regulators' feet. We need look no further than the new craze for high-frequency trading that has reportedly captured up to 70% of the daily trade flow in major stocks to understand that regulation would be hard-pressed to keep pace with this rate of evolution. What is more, in an age when success in markets is measured overwhelmingly by quick results, the behavioral incentives remain overwhelmingly weighted toward exploiting any advantage that innovation makes available.

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