Europe’s financial vulnerability

The most notable innovations of the past two decades have been financial. Like technological innovation, financial innovation is concerned with the perpetual search for greater efficiency – in this case, reducing the cost of transferring funds from savers to investors. Cost reductions that represent a net benefit to society should be regarded favorably. But as…

Ethical business

Research recently carried out by Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS), a research organisation designed to reflect the investment principles of the group of churches and charities that helped set it up, found that the top listed companies on the London Stock Exchange have made great strides in the past five years to tackle ethical issues…

A waiting game

The OECD sounded cautiously optimistic when it published its latest economic outlook in the middle of September. “Banks appear to have recognised most of the losses and write-downs related to sub-prime based securities,” it said. Yet within days, Lehman Brothers had slumped into bankruptcy protection, Bank of America had stepped in to bail our Merrill…

Blooming portfolio

Instead of being defeated by the political upheavals in Lebanon, the nation’s leading financial institution has acquired valuable banking lessons from repeated domestic crises as it embarks on a second wave of growth beyond its home borders. Blom Bank is parlaying its historic reputation for low-risk, innovative trade finance into full-service operations in some of…

Captain’s knock

Editor’s note This is an archived article. For the cover story concerning Sir Allen Stanford please click here. Sir Allen’s new and innovative cricketing enterprise is merely the latest innings in a business empire that spans financial services to upmarket real estate development, hospitality and professional sports. We talked to the Sir Allen about his…

The rising sun

Japan’s big banks, unburdened by heavy subprime losses, and stuck with sputtering growth at home, are once again investing and lending abroad, but investors should not expect a string of blockbuster buyouts. Only a few years removed from a bad-loan crisis that pushed many lenders to the brink of collapse and sparked widespread industry consolidation,…

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A long a painful journey

Just how bad is the global economic outlook? The lack of a consensus answer to that question is telling. Normally, the financial institutions that steer the world economy show a degree of agreement. But these are uncertain times. The International Monetary Fund said recently that the credit crunch had cost financial firms a stunning $945bn;…

A Saxo Bank WLP approach

As banks and financial institutions wake up to the growing potential of the online trading market, they continue to look for the technological solutions for gaining reliable, fast access to the sector. However, developing a workable, tried and tested platform for online trading is neither a cheap, straightforward nor timely exercise – and it was…

Specialising in economic analysis

It isn’t just corporate bombast. It’s a reality many US businesses have already witnessed. For many corporates, transfer pricing is the most important issue any large global business has to face up to during the next five years. Tax authorities – including Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customers (HMRC) – are getting tough with any company…