Latest articles from Comment

Italian debt rating downgrade comes not a moment too soon

August 2, 2004

Political infighting among four-member coalition underscores the need for structural reforms and perhaps a new government.
The Standard & Poor’s downgrade of Italian debt to AA- is long overdue. The only wonder is that the other rating agencies have yet to jump on board.

Award highlights women’s plight in management

August 2, 2004

Morgan Stanley’s recent $54m record settlement in a sex discrimination case will force banks to put the issue of bringing women into senior management on the front burner again, says Karina Robinson

Merger marks Japan’s reform progress

August 2, 2004

Last month’s proposal of marriage between MTFG and UFJ would create the largest bank in Japan, but it will only be positive news if the two businesses can be integrated, writes Geraldine Lambe
For the Japanese banking system, recuperation has been a long and painful process. It is only now, after more than a decade of despair, that Japan’s so-called mega-banks are ready to start performing as mega-banks should.

Why banks need a reality check on global economic change

August 2, 2004

Most predictions about the world are based on the increasingly powerful role of China and its booming economy. The trouble is that China is not booming in anything like the style that its official statistics would suggest. Leading US academic Lester Thurow, in a startling article written for The Banker’s Viewpoint, looks more closely at Chinese data and finds it wanting. A debate is now required on what this means for the global economy.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel’s prime minister in waiting

July 2, 2004

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s finance minister, tells Karina Robinson about Israel’s economic turnaround and his thoughts on returning to power.

The Banker Top 1000 world banks produce record profits

July 2, 2004

The Banker’s latest Top 1000 World Banks listing shows that banks are back making record profits. The aggregate pre-tax profits of the Top 1000 shot up by a mammoth 65.4% to reach an all-time record of $417.5bn as the Japanese banks moved back into profit and institutions around the globe revelled in improving economic conditions. The listing also highlights the dominant position of EU and US banks, which account for almost three-quarters of total profits, and the unrivalled profitability of the US banks.

Germans hold back EU while Japan emerges from doldrums

July 2, 2004

The Banker Top 1000 shows that the Japanese banks seem to have finally turned the corner and that, despite dominating the listings, EU banks are suffering from the lack of profitability of German banks.

Excessive regulation is better than another banking scandal

July 2, 2004

It might be tedious and expensive but accommodating new banking regulation is a necessary evil for the industry.

Africa’s reform trailblazers will set standards for whole continent

July 2, 2004

A new breed of policy-makers are driving change in Africa. By making tough decisions they are breaking down preconceptions but they will need back-up.

Crisis will hit China in the next decade

July 2, 2004

Professor Thomas A Pugel explains China’s forthcoming crisis, advisinIn almost any current discussion with government officials and executives of export-oriented companies in almost any country (except the US), the “China locomotive” phenomenon – the positive effects of the expanding Chinese economy – comes up. China’s growth probably will slow somewhat in the next year or two. But that will be nothing compared with the crisis likely to hit in the next decade.g policymakers to focus on the next decade.

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