Maria Bartiromo Checks Out London

Controversial surveys and heated debates aside, by some tangible measures, London is clearly ahead of New York and has bragging rights as the world's financial capital.

"Closing Bell's" Maria Bartiromo traveled to London to see for herself and report back.

Take IPOs, for example. London exchanges totaled some $51.3 billion in new listings in 2006, versus $46.8 for U.S. exchanges. Thus far this year, the story is the same with London ahead of New York by $11.0 billion to $8.2 billion.

New York's share of the global IPO market went from 45.9% in 2001 to 17.7% in 2006, while London's grew from 10.7% to 19.3% lasyt year.

At a recent high-profile Washington gathering on competitiveness and the capital markets even NYSE Group CEO John Thain acknowledged the situation: "There are signs that we need to be concened," said Thain.

On the other hand, New York -- or U.S. based-companies -- still dominate the M&A business.

In our special coverage, Maria interviews Michael Mainelli, executive director of the U.K. consultancy Z/Yen, which conducted The Global Financial Centres Index survey for the City of London Corporation, one of two major studies on the subject, and happened to conclude that London is No 1, while Meliissa Lee reports on some important industry yardsticks.