Jonathan Hill, the little known UK political figure has been appointed to one of the most powerful posts within the European Commission. Mr. Hill has been nominated as Commissioner for Financial Stability and Regulation.
What makes this appointment so interesting is the message it sends.
First, for months, the British Government and City of London have been bitterly opposed to a range of financial curbs and transaction taxes which are viewed by authorities and financial groups there as a major threat to the role of London as an international financial hub.
Second, while Britain is not a member of the Euro, this appointment will oversee the pillars of stability across the Euro area. Whether this ‘non-member running the club’ approach will have a significant impact will be foremost on the minds of those hawks of austerity; the Germans, Dutch and Finns.
Third, the selection of Mr. Hill is clearly political on a number of fronts, not least one of peace between Mr. Juncker and Mr. Cameron. David Cameron fought hard to derail the appointment of Mr. Juncker to Commission President. The gamble seems to have paid off. However, others may smell appeasement in advance of the UK referendum on remaining a member of the EU.
What will be particularly interesting in the years ahead is the approach Mr. Hill takes towards building the pillars of financial stability. Coming from the Conservative Party, one can expect it will be more balanced, which should auger well for the beleaguered financial services sector across Europe.
One thing is for certain though which is that Mr. Hill can retire the less than noble title of ‘Lord Who’. From today, he will become ‘Commissioner Money!