Governance


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.

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2
Feb 12

Robinson Hambro in the FT

Corporate governance on a global basis

Today in the Financial Times, Robinson Hambro was interviewed on corporate governance divergencies between different countries. The transcript is below.

How wide are the differences in board corporate governance between countries?

The differences all over the world are narrowing due to the global nature of capital. For instance, the concept of independent directors is taking hold. Although they exist in name in, say, Hong Kong, the authorities there are seeking to crack down on those who hold too many directorships to be effective. They are considering requiring independent non-executives to comprise one third of a listed company’s board. Only a fourth of listed companies currently meet this requirement.


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.


14
Nov 11

Germany thanks the southerners

Saudi investment opportunities

Angela Merkel today gratefully acknowledged the southern European contribution to the euro. “Without the incorporation of those sunny southerners, the euro would be the deutschmark. It would have reached Swiss franc levels, ruining our exports,” she stated, while munching on sardinas at the opening of the Museum of Greek Siestas & Tax Evasion. “Instead, we have this delightfully devalued deutschmark, which has allowed our trade surplus to reach a three year high.”

As she flicked the tail of her flamenco-inspired suit, she thanked Germany’s fellow members in the EU and the Eurozone for being responsible for nearly two thirds of the country’s foreign trade. “Vielen Dank for being less competitive than us and buying our goods,” said Merkel, as she headed off for a week’s holiday in the newly opened Deutsche Acropolis Hotel in Athens.