Thursday, March 3, 2011

LSE Director Steps Down Over #Libya, #Gaddafi Ties

Announcement from LSE:

It is with great regret and reluctance that the Council of the London School of Economics and Political Science announces that it has accepted the resignation of Sir Howard Davies as Director. The Council has asked him to stay on until arrangements for a successor have been resolved.

The Council has commissioned an independent external inquiry into the School’s relationship with Libya and with Saif Gaddafi and into related matters.

The inquiry will be conducted by Lord Woolf, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and former Chairman of the Council of University College London.

Sir Howard Davies said: “I have concluded that it would be right for me to step down even though I know that this will cause difficulty for the institution I have come to love. The short point is that I am responsible for the School’s reputation, and that has suffered.

“I advised the Council that it was reasonable to accept the money and that has turned out to be a mistake. There were risks involved in taking funding from sources associated with Libya and they should have been weighed more heavily in the balance.

“Also, I made a personal error of judgment in accepting the British government’s invitation to be an economic envoy and the consequent Libyan invitation to advise their sovereign wealth fund. There was nothing substantive to be ashamed of in that work and I disclosed it fully, but the consequence has been to make it more difficult for me to defend the institution.”

Sir Howard’s letter of resignation can be found below.

Peter Sutherland, Chairman of the Court of Governors, said: “Howard has been an outstanding director of the LSE these past eight years and his achievements here will endure long after the current controversy has died away.

“We accept his resignation with great regret and reluctance but understand that he has taken an honorable course in the best interests of the school.”

Sir Howard, knighted in 2000 by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair, was the chairman of the Financial Services Authority in the UK. He became the director of LSE in 2003, but he himself had graduated from Merton College, Oxford. He has been a Director at Morgan Stanley since 2004. He is on the advisory boards for China's commissions on banking and securities regulations, and is an advisor to the sovereign fund of Singapore.

(It seems, at least so far, Goldman Sachs' sovereign and regulatory capture is confined within the US, whereas J.P.Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley seem to be all over the world..)


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