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…

How to Slash Your Rental Vacancy Rates

There are the obvious costs to vacant rental properties: paying for the mortgage, insurance, taxes and utilities out of pocket. But the costs don’t end there. Break-ins, vandalism, landscaping, and upkeep are all additional risks and expenses, which all aggregate to a message that you already know — rental vacancies need to be slashed to…

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…

How To Choose A New Residential Development In A Foreign Country

You’re considering an investment property or a second house in a Central American residential development—in Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua or elsewhere. The shiny brochure is impressive, the website looked great, the pictures blew you away, the marketing representative of the development says all the right things and you’re dead set on getting that beachfront lot…

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,…