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Latin America’s lesson for a banking world in crisis

March 10, 2009

Latin Americans know all about financial crises – they have suffered some of the worst. But this time they have had the satisfaction of seeing a financial crisis originate in the mature countries and not in their region.

Why the ECB might fear Greeks bearing bonds

February 2, 2009

The solvency of banks was understandably the focus of 2008. But as 2009 begins, markets are beginning to think the unthinkable: what about governments?

‘Keep it simple, stupid’ applies to bail-outs, too

February 2, 2009

An opposition politician has described the UK government’s bail-out plan as consisting of “stunts and wheezes”. This may be unfair but it highlights a tendency among governments battling with defective banks to be over-complex and to play politics rather than focus on simple financial solutions.

Investors should learn lessons too

January 5, 2009

Institutional investors are up in arms again; this time at Deutsche Bank’s decision not to call its 2009-14 subordinated bond. “We are disappointed and concerned at this action taken by Deutsche Bank, a leading global capital markets operator with no capital or liquidity issues,” fulminates the Association of British Insurers.

China must refill ‘iron rice bowl’ during crisis

January 5, 2009

While the credit crunch was ‘made in America’, it may be China and the ‘made in China’ economic model that becomes the biggest casualty of the crisis.

The future of prime brokerage

December 1, 2008

Not for the first time in recent months, the beleaguered hedge fund community was under the spotlight in November, as industry luminary George Soros issued a dire warning that the sector “will be decimated” by a 50% to 75% decline in assets under management.

Trust is the key for rebuilding the economy

December 1, 2008

As world leaders meet to discuss the future of capitalism, banks need to find new ways of financing trade.

It is a moot point whether the leaders of the Global 20 (G20) industrialised nations achieved anything tangible, beyond increasing their carbon footprint, in Washington last month.

As US-style capitalism falls, internationalism is back in vogue

November 3, 2008

Even before the dust has settled after the biggest banking blow up in 80 years, the first signs of what a post-crisis world will look like are starting to emerge. The winners in banking will be those that recognise the changes first and work out to how to position themselves correctly.

Bankers may face period of opprobrium, but the world still needs them

October 6, 2008

If history ended on November 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, it returned with a vengeance on the week starting September 14, 2008, when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch rushed into the arms of Bank of America and one of the world’s largest insurers, AIG, was effectively nationalised by the US government.

Diversify and survive

September 1, 2008

Understanding UK bank strategies can be difficult. The past year has seen not only Royal Bank of Scotland’s joint acquisition of the Netherlands’ giant ABN AMRO but also the disastrous run on Northern Rock, record 2007 profits at HSBC Holdings and, last month, RBS’s first half-year loss in 40 years, following $11.4bn in writedowns.

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