Barclays’ share issue and the question of bonuses

Imagine you asked your bank for a business loan. Your bank manager – if indeed there are still members of the genus ‘argentaria procurator’ (that’s Latin for bank manager) left – might ask for the spreadsheets. If they revealed a big fat salary for you, the ‘procurator’ might say: “My...Read More

Is the Fed taking more risk by trying to take less?

In yesterday’s ‘FT’, it was suggested that the US Federal Reserve is considering forcing US banks to operate much higher capital ratios. The idea is to reduce the risk of a banking crisis. Critics say such action may increase the risk of prolonged economic downturn.

It all boils down...Read More

Posted May 02, 2013

Is interest only the next big scandal?

Have you ever applied for a mortgage and been subjected to a sales pitch on how you need to repay the mortgage via pension payments or an endowment? Now the Financial Conduct Authority – or FCA, if you will – has been looking at interest only mortgages, and its conclusion...Read More

Posted May 02, 2013

Forget banks’ greed: this is just a symptom of something deeper

In 1990 it was a grand total of $56 trillion. That’s a lot of money for sure. But by 2007 it was $206 trillion. What exactly is being referred to? Why, none other than the total value of global stock of debt and equity outstanding.

That is extraordinary growth....Read More

Posted Apr 05, 2013

The new credit crunch: and this time it really will hurt

Delve into the core. Imagine that the global economy is an onion, and keep peeling, until we reach the core. What do we find? Maybe there are forces at play which are buried so deep below the surface that we barely notice them. But nonetheless they shape the world, create...Read More

Posted Apr 05, 2013

The market never lies, so why is it lying about Bitcoins?

Who needs central bankers anyway? It’s a view often expressed by the more adamant supporters of the markets.

This is what Nassim Taleb had to say on this very matter in his book ‘Anti Fragile’: “Ask a US citizen if some semi-anti governmental agency with a great deal of...Read More

Posted Apr 04, 2013

Standard Chartered’s apology: bad bank or bad regulators?

It was just a 'clerical' error, said Standard Chartered’s Chairman Sir John Peace. US authorities had accused the bank of doing something really rather naughty. New York State Department of Financial Services accused the bank of money laundering to the tune of no less than $250 million. It turned out...Read More

Posted Mar 22, 2013

So banks resort to work of devil

It’s been a busy week for QE. Japan hit the virtual printing press again. This time it was QE7. The latest minutes from the Bank of England’s interest setting committee implied more QE is on the cards. And you will no doubt recall that the US Fed released its latest version...Read More

Posted Sep 24, 2012

Standard Chartered denies it ever said that thing about “F***ing Americans”

While all around there was chaos, Standard Chartered was of beacon of stability. While an increasing number of bank began to look a bit like the Titanic – complete with lifeboats for those in first class seats – Standard Chartered seemed more like a rock. While tipsters advised investors to...Read More

Posted Aug 13, 2012

Olympics, empty seats and bankers’ greed

What’s worse than a banker sipping Pimms and having a good time? Answer: well… maybe it is a banker not having a good time.

There are empty seats at the Olympics. Imagine that! There are people out there who have paid for seats, or – worse than that...Read More

Posted Aug 01, 2012

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