28 NOVEMBER 1987, Page 27

Culture and anarchy

MY only regret at seeing Stanislas Yassu- kovich taking over at The Securities Asso- ciation is that I hoped he would be the next chairman of the Stock Exchange. Short of some of its empire, missing its trading floor, up to its eyes in paper, the Exchange could use his calming presence and steadying hand, and by choosing a chair- man from Merrill Lynch would signal that it was international in nature as well as in name. That job, though, still seems to be reserved for someone from a domestic firm (even though many such firms now have overseas owners). Immediately, there is more to do at the Securities Association, which must regulate the London securities markets, and has had stormy exchanges with the Securities and Investments Board. Mr Yassukovich is a believer in practical self-regulation — indeed he brought it into the anarchic world of the international bond dealers — and a sense of the practical has not proved the SIB's strong point.