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Reform at what cost?

By Ian Fraser Published: CA Magazine Date: April 2nd, 2012 New regulations for banks aim to prevent a repeat of the 2008 meltdown, but are they in fact hampering their ability to do business and aid economic recovery, asks Ian Fraser During the two decades leading up to the banking crisis, the banks had never […]

April 2nd, 2012 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Stephen Hester: “One of the issues we face is the UK economy is as flat as a pancake”

February 23rd, 2012 Stephen Hester was in combative form in his interview with Channel 4 News’ Jon Snow earlier this evening. He sought to defend the bank’s decision to pay a total of £985m in staff bonuses during 2011, despite mounting losses and scepticism it can be returned to the private sector within the original […]

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

The media frenzy about RBS bonuses and Fred Goodwin’s knighthood is a sideshow

By Ian Fraser Published: QFINANCE Date: February 2nd, 2012 Financial commentators are, suddenly, in demand and it’s largely down to the continuing failure of banks to properly reform themselves in the wake of the global financial crisis and the current public rage about bankers who continue to award themselves massive pay packages even though their […]

February 2nd, 2012 | Posted in Article Library,Blog | Read More »

The battle of Hester’s bonus: Labour’s hypocrisy, PIRC’s doubts

January 28th, 2012 Labour is being supremely hypocritical over the £1 million share-based bonus recently awarded to RBS boss Stephen Hester. It was the government of Gordon Brown, which didn’t leave Downing Street until May 2010, that signed off the original contract and subsequent long-term remuneration policies that made the bonus possible. The ministers who […]

January 28th, 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 »

Diamond’s Damascene conversion on the road to St Paul’s fails to convince

By Ian Fraser Published: QFINANCE Date: November 4th, 2011 What’s up with Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond? In January, the US-born investment banker, who had recently taken over as Barclays boss, seemed in denial about the role of banks in the destruction of the global economy. Speaking to the Treasury Select Committee in January 2011, Diamond told […]

November 4th, 2011 | Posted in Article Library,Blog,Latest Articles | 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 »

Paul Krugman: Occupy Wall Street might well be the turning point

October 7th, 2011 New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has thrown his weight behind the Occupy Wall Street protests, saying: “Occupy Wall Street is starting to look like an important event that might even eventually be seen as a turning point.” Krugman, who won the Nobel prize for economics in 2008 and is professor of […]

October 7th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | 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 »

Diamond in La-La Land

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

January 11th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »