Celebrating 95 years of The Banker - Comment & Profiles -

The Banker’s long history has seen it cover seismic moments, including the 1929 Wall Street crash, the 1967 Sterling devaluation, 2007-9 global financial crisis and the Covid-19 crisis.

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Happy new year! Best wishes to our readers and collaborators for a peaceful and prosperous 2021!

While the vast majority of the world’s population was eager to see the back of 2020, some elements stubbornly refused to let go of the past.

A leading example is outgoing US president Donald Trump’s attempt to hold on to the reins of power, fuelling a mob invasion of the US Capitol Building. This has resulted in resounding condemnation from many world leaders, bank CEOs and, well, pretty much everyone, including many in the Republican party. And while Mr Trump has pledged to oversee a peaceful transition, there is still nine days left before president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration and a second impeachment seems to be gaining momentum. Unsurprisingly, populism was the chief geopolitical concern that emerged from the European Risk Management Council’s latest global survey of risk managers.

Of greater global concern, the Covid-19 pandemic has not taken its cue to leave centre stage and fade away, opting to mutate and spread faster instead. While economists have had to revise downwards their projections for global gross domestic product growth, most are still predicting that the world economy will rebound - albeit with caveats. For example, the World Bank is expecting the global economy to expand by 4%, “assuming an initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout becomes widespread throughout the year”, it said in its January 2021 Global Economic Prospects.

Other remnants of 2020 have been left behind, such as the Brexit negotiations. The zero-hour deal on December 24 was concluded with the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement; now the UK financial services industry needs to forge a path beyond Brexit, with many critics calling it a ‘no deal’ for the industry. In a sign of things to come, on January 4 the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the supervisor of EU credit rating agencies (CRAs) and trade repositories (TRs), announced that it had withdrawn the registrations of six UK-based CRAs and four TRs.

In the January issue of The Banker, Europe editor James King takes a look at what comes next for the UK economy.

This year, The Banker marks its 95th anniversary. Capital markets and investment banking editor Marie Kemplay has trawled through the archives, picking out the interesting trends which illustrate just how much the banking industry has changed since the first issue rolled off the presses. The Banker’s long history has seen it cover seismic moments, including the 1929 Wall Street crash, the 1967 Sterling devaluation, 2007-9 global financial crisis and the Covid-19 crisis.

This anniversary year also marks a big change at The Banker. It is with a heavy heart that we say good-bye to editor Brian Caplen, who retired at the end of 2020 after almost two decades at the helm. Under his leadership since 2003, The Banker has gone from strength to strength, expanding its coverage and raising its profile in markets everywhere, as well as at international conferences such as Davos, Sibos and the IMF/World Bank annual meetings. Please join us in applauding Brian’s outstanding achievements and wishing him well in the future.

Brian’s legacy of a first-rate editorial team will ensure that we will continue to provide the trusted, quality and insightful coverage of the global banking industry that readers have come to rely on.

Joy Macknight is managing editor of The Banker. Follow her on Twitter @joymacknight

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