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John Kay on the illusory nature of bank profits

April 16th, 2012 In this speech the economist and author John Kay examined how the financial sector continues to make — or claims to make — returns-on-equity which are way in excess of any reasonable estimate of cost of capital. Kay, a visiting professor at London School of Economics, examined various possible reasons but then focused on […]

April 16th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Rowan Bosworth-Davies | Has the UK rediscovered its appetite for prosecuting ‘white collar’ crime?

March 16th, 2012 In the second in a series of guest posts, Rowan Bosworth-Davies, a financial crime consultant and former Scotland Yard detective, provides a historical perspective on the UK authorities’ lack of appetite for prosecuting high level financial crime Edwin Sutherland, the American sociologist and criminologist (pictured right), is perhaps best known for his 1949 book ‘White […]

March 23rd, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Does RBS boss Stephen Hester deserve his £1m bonus?

By Ian Fraser Published: QFINANCE Date: January 27th, 2012 The board of Royal Bank of Scotland and its remuneration committee, led by the ex-Coca Cola executive Penny Hughes but also comprising ex-Standard Life boss Sandy Crombie, must have decided let’s just go for it and to hang with the consequences. The RBS board of directors […]

January 28th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

George Osborne’s cuts aren’t working for the UK economy

November 24th, 2011 Andrew Brigden of Fathom Consulting, a London-based economic and financial markets consultancy, has been poring over the latest UK economic data and concluded that austerity isn’t working for the UK economy. He says:- “Excluding government consumption, final domestic demand is currently 9.1% below its pre-recession peak and is just 1% higher than its trough. […]

November 24th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Andy Haldane’s proposals for breaking the bankers’ doom loop

By Ian Fraser Published: QFINANCE Date October 25th, 2011 For a central bank director, Andy Haldane is remarkably alert to the widening cracks in the global financial system. Delivering the Wincott Annual Memorial Lecture in London on October 24, Haldane tried to shake policymakers and regulators out of their complacency by calling for a “fundamental shift” […]

October 25th, 2011 | Posted in Article Library,Blog,Latest Articles | Read More »

The dukes and earls in America’s great tower of bullshit start to blink

By Ian Fraser Published: QFINANCE Date: October 20th, 2011 There may be a good few Maoists, Trotskyists, Anarcho-Syndicalists and even the odd deluded benefit scrounger among them, but it is simply wrong to characterize the Occupy Wall Street protestors who are camping out in 1,500 cities worldwide as wanting to overthrow capitalism, in the same way […]

October 20th, 2011 | Posted in Article Library,Blog,Latest Articles | Read More »

On banking, David Cameron is either clueless or a liar

October 5th, 2011 David Cameron displayed an astonishing lack of understanding of the banking sector in his interview with Sarah Montague on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme on Tuesday morning (as, I’m afraid, did Sarah, given her blinkered obsession with “bonuses”). If Cameron’s stumbling performance was due to ignorance, then it’s inexcusable. If it’s […]

October 5th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Now it’s London’s turn

October 3rd, 2011 It looks like the City of London is about to be occupied too. A group calling itself Occupy London intends to occupy Paternoster Square and the area around the London Stock Exchange near St Paul’s Cathedral in the Square Mile commencing Saturday October 15th. Inspired by the 15-M protests in Spain, Occupy […]

October 3rd, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Big Four finally held to account

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: October 2nd, 2011 The “Big Four” accountancy firms, whose complacency and dereliction of duty were major contributors to the banking crisis that tipped the UK into recession, could be getting their comeuppance at the hands of the European Union. The story of Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PWC […]

October 2nd, 2011 | Posted in Article Library,Latest Articles | Read More »

Time’s panegyric to the City of London is beyond parody

September 29th, 2011 It’s incredible how some journalists got it so wrong about the City of London just prior to the crash of 2007-09. In January 2007 Time Magazine’s Adam Smith wrote an unctuous feature about the Square Mile which lavished praise on Gordon Brown’s “light touch” approach to financial regulation. In his second paragraph, […]

September 29th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

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