Our biggest stories of the week are …
Who owns Iceland?
I'm in Iceland this week, and there's a fascinating split across the country over xenophobia and sovereign rights. This is because, post the financial crisis, the country is selling its prized assets from energy to land, acre by acre, kilowatt by kilowatt. Is this the only policy and what's happened to Iceland's banks since the crisis began …
I mentioned I was in Iceland last week, and was interested to find out what the banks were thinking. We only ever hear of Iceland’s woes and troubles, and so the ability to see first-hand what was happening to the banks…
My last blog about Iceland for the moment, but a worthy one. In Reykjavik, a city of 120,000 people (200,000 in the Greater Reykjavik region). By comparison, this is the size of Watford, the UK’s 59th largest town, or Dudley…
I attended a great conference in Copenhagen this week. A presentation that particularly intrigued me came from the CIO of Danske Bank, Peter Schleidt. The reason it intrigued me is that, like the Icelandics, Peter’s bank is rapidly becoming a purely digital bank.
Just had a visit to the head office of the Royal Mint in Cardiff, Wales. The Royal Mint goes back over 1,100 years to the Tower of London and King Alfred the Great. It’s still owned by the Crown today, although that Crown is now the Treasury’s and not the Queen’s. You can read all about the history of the Mint …
Survey reveals that SEPA and the PSD are progressing but liquidity risk needs addressing Research finds liquidity risk is a major potential exposure for the future and calls for more automation The Financial Services Club and Logica revealed the results…
I've been invited to SIBOS this year to be a “professional challenger” in the innotribe stream. I interpret this as being a “professional troublemaker”, which I’m very good at. By now, if you’ve been to SIBOS before you should know what innotribe is but, just in case …
In October 2009 I presented at Gresham College to the theme of: Are bankers good or bad for society? I think it's one of my better presentations, and just noticed that a video was placed online by the College …
With the gold price hitting new nominal highs, now may be a good moment to remind ourselves about the consequences of Gordon Brown’s sale of much of the UK’s gold reserves. Between 1999 and 2002 he sold 395 metric tons of gold at an average price of $275 an ounce. Today the price stands at $1,749 an ounce.
The major general news stories of the week include …
UK climbs in global competitiveness rankings – The Independent
Britain has moved up the rankings on the global competitiveness league, according to the World Economic Forum (WEA). The UK is ranked in 10th position in the 2011 table, up from 12th last year. The strengths of Britain were judged to be an efficient labour market, a sophisticated and innovative
Alistair Darling has revealed that at the height of the crisis, each troubled bank and its boss were allocated codenames so that officials could discuss them in secret.
Most powerful woman on Wall Street ousted – The Independent
Sallie Krawcheck, one of the longest-serving and arguably the most powerful female executive on Wall Street, was last night ousted from her post running wealth management for Bank of America.
NBNK confirms merger talks as shares are suspended – The Telegraph
Trading in the shares of NBNK, the challenger bank run by Northern Rock's former chief Gary Hoffman, has been suspended after the company confirmed this morning it was in merger talks.
Josef Ackermann, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank, has warned that 'numerous' European lenders would collapse if they were forced to book their losses on stricken sovereign bonds.
Sub-prime crisis returns to haunt banks with a £121bn lawsuit – The Telegraph
Federal Housing Finance Agency has risked a new crisis with £121bn lawsuit.
Vickers report will spark rush to invest in banks – The Independent
Aggressive fund managers are preparing to pour money into British banking shares when Sir John Vickers's report into reform of the industry is published in eight days' time.
One of Britain's wealthiest men is facing a huge divorce settlement after separating from his wife and starting a relationship with a flamboyant male fashion designer.
It is hard to understate the bank liquidity crisis – Financial Times
Unless the 90% participation target in Greece's debt swap is hit, another round of eurozone tumult could be triggered, writes Patrick Jenkins
A short history of credit default swaps – The Telegraph
The default insurance cost on British state-owned banks Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group have again spiked to all-time highs. But what are credit default swaps, and why should we be concerned if they rise?
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