NEW YORK Merging the iconic New York Stock Exchange with Germany's Deutsche Boerse AG will force European companies to switch to using U.S. accounting rules which have superior disclosures, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Friday.
"This will force a common set of accounting standards on the world; the American disclosures are better," Bloomberg said on his weekly WOR radio show, though he admitted U.S. rules did not prevent Bernard Madoff from swindling billions of dollars through a Ponzi scheme.
U.S. rulemakers have been working on aligning their accounting standards with international rules used by more than 100 countries, including European nations. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has said it will decide some time this year whether to require U.S. companies to switch to international standards.
The next "natural link" for the Boerse and the Big Board, the centuries-old symbol of U.S. capitalism owned by NYSE Euronext, would be with Latin American exchanges, said the mayor, a political independent and former trader.
"It's all pretty much a common time zone," he said, explaining linking with Asian exchanges might be more difficult.
Bloomberg previously said the NYSE-Boerse deal will benefit New York City at London's expense by broadening both exchanges' markets and on Friday he said that New York's ability to remain a global financial center hinges on attracting the people who work in financial jobs outside of the exchange.
Floor-trading is dwindling as machine-driven activity rises, which is one of the reasons the exchanges are exploring a merger. "It is the jobs outside the exchange and support the exchange that are going to be here," Bloomberg said.
Saying the best way to keep businesses in New York was keeping crime rates low and making it a desirable place to live, Bloomberg listed one other requirement for a global financial capital.
"In order to have a great financial center you have to be an English-speaking country," or one in which many people speak English because this is the world's business language, he said.