FSA


24
May 12

Reputation loss: Rato, Mervyn and Dimon

The growth myth

If raw capitalism is about creative destruction, we have undoubtedly seen a lot of destruction. It is not yet clear how creative it will be.

On the back of the financial crisis there was a first wave of people such as Dick Fuld of Lehman Brothers and Sir Fred Goodwin of Royal Bank of Scotland.

We are now seeing the second wave. Mervyn King has lost his reputation as a competent governor, although he won’t lose his job. The Governor’s consistent refusal to commission a study of what went wrong at the Bank of England; a series of in-depth articles detailing his rejection of dissenting opinions; his antipathy towards the City; his obsession with monetary policy at a time when financial stability should have been high on the list; these have all massively eroded his credibility.

Share/Save

18
Apr 12

Bank governance: rejecting the check list

Morality and psychopaths

We all have a guilty secret. Confession is good for the soul, so in this post-Easter period, let me come clean about mine. It happened in the spring of 2008.

Shamsad Akhtar, the outstanding governor of the central bank of Pakistan at the time, was under attack from the government and her reappointment for another three year term looked uncertain. In an attempt to bolster her position, while I was on a visit to Karachi, she insisted I interview her on Pakistan state television. For 40 minutes we were filmed discussing monetary policy, provisions for bad loans, interest rate increases and the like. This was broadcast that very evening in the fifth largest emerging market by population. Villagers in the lawless regions on the frontiers with Afghanistan, the military in their secure compounds and government ministers in their mansions all shared one sentiment only: paralysing tedium.


23
Feb 12

Heaven : No Volcker, No Vickers

Syria , the jobless and the banks

Heaven is a long mountain slope of perfect powder snow and a sky of an intense blue only found in the Austrian Alps. Amid the brightness and the swishing sound of my skis drawing perfect curves in the snow, a Norfolk terrier scampers around, capturing the prey that always eludes him, while an eleven year old boy relishes the lack of carrots and broccoli.

This exemplifies heaven for me, my son and his dog. Or I can describe heaven by quoting the Book of Revelation which says it is a cube of 12,000 furlongs and which author Terry Pratchett reveals is less than 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic feet.


9
Jan 12

Obama the war president

Why stockmarkets will rise 50% in 2012

Waiting for my host in Zafferano, an Italian restaurant in Knightsbridge, I eavesdropped on my lunchtime neighbours and found myself surrounded by the themes of the moment. The husband and wife couple to my left were Germans, on a romantic weekend break in London, accompanying the gourmet menu with a bottle of Crystal champagne and undoubtedly heading to their hotel bedroom for an afternoon of nookie. They had an air of confidence, as befits the new masters of Europe.