Latest articles from Comment

Old habits must change

January 3, 2005

Peter G Peterson of The Blackstone Group believes that the key to US stability lies in reducing US consumption and imports.
As part of my recent book, Running on Empty, I interviewed a dozen leading global capital market experts about the sustainability of the US’s unprecedented current account deficit of nearly 6% of GDP, about $670bn annually.

Practical steps to an African renaissance

January 3, 2005

Mohan Kaul of the Commonwealth Business Council explains how business can get involved with Africa.

Foreign banks must cherry-pick less to avoid Latin American wrath

January 3, 2005

Foreign banks in Latin America are failing to help its economies by extending private credit. If they do not act now to moderate their behaviour, they may find host governments legally obliging them to do so.

Slimmed down G4 would carry a lot of weight

January 3, 2005

A G4 that included China and a single voice for Europe makes sense but international diplomacy means it won’t happen overnight.

Calm end to 2004 – but volatility on the horizon

January 3, 2005

A relatively upbeat end to last year in the light of stable market conditions does nothing to reduce the possibility of crisis for many countries if the US dollar and economy do not recover.

Russia stands at crucial crossroads

January 3, 2005

Russia appears to be at a crossroads with the battle between market reformers and interventionists reaching fever pitch.
In this special Davos issue, we put the spotlight on Russia, with an exclusive interview with finance minister Alexei Kudrin, who The Banker has picked as its Finance Minister of the Year 2005. Mr Kudrin is candid with his thoughts on the Yukos affair, as well as banking and market reforms.

Brazil’s central bank takes over at Santos

December 1, 2004

Brazil’s central bank assumed control of the operations of struggling Banco Santos on November 15 after the latter was ordered to provide R$700m ($251m) to cover defaulted loans, a sum that exceeded its ability to pay by R$100m.

Turkey expects glitches in currency changeover

December 1, 2004

Turkey is likely to experience problems when it introduces a new currency next year, bankers and economists fear.
Turkey is due to introduce the currency, the new Turkish lira (YTL), on January 1. Six zeros will be knocked off the old currency in a move to ease accounting practices, reduce strains on payment systems and create psychological conditions to curb inflation forever.

Greek bonds maintain their appeal despite S&P credit downgrade

December 1, 2004

The decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade Greece’s credit rating has damaged the country’s image but will have little impact on the cost of borrowing, according to Athens-based analysts.

Dexia and Sanpaolo IMI talks may signal defensive alliance

December 1, 2004

Belgian bank Dexia and Italian bank Sanpaolo IMI are holding talks, possibly about a merger or a joint venture, according to reports leaked as The Banker went to press.

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