Rank Mysteries

The release of the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), published by the consultancy Z/Yen in London, shows stability at the top of the table and volatility below. But do such rankings really contain valuable insights into how the global financial system is evolving?

PARIS – Gibraltar received exciting news last month. The latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), published by the consultancy Z/Yen in London, revealed that the Rock had risen further and faster up the ranks than any other center – 17 places, from 70th to 53rd position, since the previous report in September 2013.

I can imagine the celebrations in Gibraltar Town, where, now that the British naval base has closed and Spain is being difficult at the border, financial services are crucial for employment. And I can also imagine that many in Hamilton, Bermuda, which plummeted almost as far as Gibraltar climbed – 16 places, to 56th – must be crying into their rum punch.

Of course, it is also possible that Gibraltar and Bermuda have chosen to ignore the results, or dispute their significance. Either way, there is no doubting the global obsession with league tables nowadays. One can find a ranking for almost every form of human activity.

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