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Does Vickers go far enough?

In Blog by Ian Fraser1 Comment

12 September 2011 This morning I was listening to Nicky Campbell’s phone-in programme on BBC Radio 5 Live. The topic was the final proposals of Sir John Vickers’ Independent Banking Commission for reforming the UK’s banking system, which were published this morning. To many, including Philip Augar (who since leaving the …

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The City needs rehab; it’ll say ‘no, no, no’

In Blog by Ian Fraser1 Comment

11 August 2011 When my ex-boss Roger Neill launched the Centre for Creativity at City University London in winter of 2009, he staged a “Big City Brainstorm” which pulled together a diverse group of people – including several from the City of London. Roger and other people behind the Centre for …

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Why the Oscar for ‘Inside Job’ is a sort of turning point

In Blog by Ian Fraser1 Comment

28 February 2011 Charles Ferguson’s movie about the financial crisis, Inside Job, released in the US in October 2010, richly deserved to win ‘Best Documentary’ at last night’s Oscars. Amid all the flimflam about actresses’ dresses and the other flaky stuff one’s subjected to around Oscars’ time, the Academy Award …

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Diamond: The period of remorse and apology is over for banks

In Blog by Ian Fraser1 Comment

12 January 2011 This morning’s “grilling” of Barclays’ new chief executive, Bob Diamond, was an unsatisfactory affair. A light sautée-ing would perhaps be a more accurate description. The MPs on the Treasury Select Committee were good at grand-standing on banking issues such as excessive bonuses, lack of pay transparency, recklessness, tax avoidance, …

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Curtis and Nighy’s brilliant little idea

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

10 February 2010 In this short video made by Richard Curtis of Four Weddings & A Funeral fame, actor Bill Nighy plays a typically complacent banker. He squirms at suggestions that banks should be asked to pay a global ‘Tobin tax’ of less than 0.05% on certain types of transaction. …

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AIG = Arrogance Ignorance and Greed

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

February 3rd, 2010 I just heard this track from Show of Hands on Radio 4’s ‘Midweek’ with Francine Stock. The West Country ‘acoustic roots’ band — comprising Steve Knightly and Phil Beer — was inspired to write this song by the social injustice of the banking bailouts and in particular by …

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Reinventing finance

In Blog by Ian Fraser8 Comments

24 August 2009 The financial crisis that reached its height in September-October 2008 has presented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reinvent finance, ensuring it exists to serve business and society, rather than the other way around. Yet the agenda of free-market politicians and finance industry insiders is to pretend what happened …

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The City of London a snake pit? Surely not!

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

4 August 2009 In the wake of Lord Myners’ comments to the Sunday Times on July 19th — in which the City minister and former Marks & Spencer chairman declared he has no intention of returning to the City when he quits his ministerial post, but will instead do a degree …

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Crimes of the regulators

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

4 January 2009 Why did the FSA and SEC turn a blind eye to the “elephants in the room” that nearly brought down western capitalism — the massive, unregulated and offshore “shadow banking system” that grew up in the credit bubble years and widespread apparent fraud in the banking sector? …