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Cogent King makes case for radical bank reform

March 8th, 2011 It’s virtually unheard for the governor of a central bank to launch an outspoken attack on the integrity and purpose of his country’s banking sector. But this is what the Bank of England governor Mervyn King did last weekend. In an interview with former Telegraph editor Charles Moore, King, whose central bank […]

March 8th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

‘Project Merlin’ doesn’t quite do what it says on tin

February 8th, 2011 Project Merlin, the wizard scheme originally dreamt up in 2010 by ex-Barclays chief executive John Varley and RBS chairman Sir Philip Hampton, in the hope of  appeasing the government and drawing a line under the “banker bashing”, has descended into farce. The project started with the legitimate hope from the bankers that, […]

February 8th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

The delusional groupthink of New Labour and how it crippled the UK economy

November 2nd, 2010 I couldn’t believe it when I heard Lord Turnbull speak about the extent of former prime minister Gordon Brown’s self-delusion to the Treasury select committee (via Radio 4′s Today in Parliament). Basically, Turnbull claimed that the groupthink in Westminster and Whitehall had become so pronounced by the mid-Noughties that everyone at 1 Horse Guards […]

November 2nd, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Putting the house in order

By Ian Fraser Published: Accountancy Magazine Date: June 1st, 2010 With a new government tackling the nation’s finances, political flash points will appear, warns Ian Fraser With the unprecedented political horse-trading of 7-11 May now behind it, and the coalition government of prime minister David Cameron and deputy Nick Clegg settled into Downing Street and […]

June 1st, 2010 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Scottish Agenda: The revolving door that shuts out taxpayers

By Ian Fraser Published: The Sunday Times Date: July 19th, 2009 Is the taxpayer losing out in pre-packaged administrations that leave state-owned banks swallowing debts? Can we call pre-packaged administrations — which allow professional advisers quickly to put a company into administration, wipe out its debts then immediately sell it on — a fair means […]

July 19th, 2009 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

That sinking feeling

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: January 25th, 2009 Government hopes that its latest raft of measures would persuade banks to start lending to each other again – and thus kickstart the economy – seem, so far, unfounded. So why are institutions reluctant to throw the cash around … and what will it mean […]

January 25th, 2009 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Uncertain legacy of the man who broke Royal Bank of Scotland

By Ian Fraser Published: The Mail on Sunday Date: October 19th, 2008 AS the Royal Bank of Scotland announces that the reign of chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin will officially end on January 31, the nation’s flagship bank takes an uneasy step toward an uncertain future. Here, Ian Fraser, a leading financial commentator who has […]

October 19th, 2008 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

The end of HBOS

September 17th, 2008 Picture: Amelia Calvert HBOS — created from the expedient merger of Halifax and “Governor & Company of the Bank of Scotland” in September 2001 — is in its death throes. If the BBC’s business editor Robert Peston is to be believed, the bank is about to be subsumed into the Lloyds TSB […]

September 17th, 2008 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Goodwin hunting

By Ian Fraser Sunday Herald December 30th, 2007 Businessperson of the Year: Sir Fred Goodwin THE €71 billion (£49bn) takeover of Dutch bank ABN Amro was a coup that has left little room for doubt. Sir Fred Goodwin, the 49-year-old chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has been confirmed as the uber-hero of […]

December 30th, 2007 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Clearing up this mess is going to need “Voom”

September 16th, 2007 The financial crisis that was sparked by reckless lending and corruption in the US housing market and exacerbated by the myopic greed of banks and hedge funds and weak regulation on both sides of the Atlantic has entered an uglier phase. On Friday, September 14th, the crisis spread to the UK high […]

September 16th, 2007 | Posted in Blog | Read More »