According to the most recent monthly report from the World Federation of Exchanges, the NYSE and Nasdaq combined had $16.9 trillion out of the world's $41 trillion in stock market capitalization in December 2005, or 41.2 percent of the world's total. That's impressive. But it's down sharply from January 2001, when the NYSE and Nasdaq combined held 48.4 percent of the world's stock market capitalization.
One of the reasons cited is Sarbanes-Oxley. A merger with the LSE could help this once geographically challenged institution get around that. Financial centers throughout the world are in competition with each other to attract capital, not only with the technologies and services that they provide, but also with the regulatory environment that goes along with it.
If the managment at NYX is smart, they will be looking for a way to limit the risk that the same idiots who passed Sarbanes-oxley will be coming back with even more well-intentioned legislation in the future.
An LSE merger would be a good start.
In the minds of politicians no one ever reacts to the regulatory burdens that they impose.
In the real world it's hard to find anyone that doesn't.
Maybe there oughta be a law against that, too.