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QFINANCE Blog Category: Banking and Insurance

  1. Finance Blogger: Anthony Harrington

    FASB chairman hits out at critics

    Speaking at the AICPA National Conference on December 8, Robert Herz, Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, decided to focus on what he called “a number of very important public policy matters relating to financial reporting and accounting standard setting.” His key focus was to drive home the point to as wide an audience beyond the AICPA membership as possible, that setting accounting standards is one thing, determining appropriate levels of…

  2. Finance Blogger: Anthony Harrington

    Chinese banks—Blowing bubbles?

    The Chinese banking regulator, worried by an unprecedented volume of loans by Chinese banks, recently let it be known that it expected the sector to adhere to much more stringent capital requirements. (In typical fashion, the Chinese regulator has since posted a note on its website denying that it was mandating a 13% ratio rather than the present 9 to 11%, and merely stressing the importance of “responsible lending.”) However, China’s banks have got the message and are now…

  3. Finance Blogger: Anthony Harrington

    Make hay while the sun shines

    On November 25, the German central bank, the Bundesbank, fired a warning shot across the bows of the German, and by implication the European financial sectors. The caution came in the Bank’s 2009 Financial Stability Review. In a nutshell, the Bank’s message was a variant of “we’re not out the woods yet, my friends…” Despite some heartening news in recent weeks about various European economies emerging from the recession…

  4. Finance Blogger: Ian Fraser

    No-one can afford “too big to fail” banks

    The thorny issue of what to do about institutions that are “too big to fail” has been addressed by Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England. In evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, King said it is impossible to construct a credible regulatory system while dinosaurs that are “too big to fail” are still allowed roam the financial jungle. By “too big to fail” King means…

  5. Finance Blogger: Anthony Harrington

    Financial regulation and compliance—The EU’s mill starts to grind

    The poet Longfellow once famously wrote: “The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceedingly small.” The European Commission’s regulatory mill generally grinds at Longfellow’s God-like pace, but whether it grinds exceedingly fine or turns out to be grinding not very much of anything remains to be seen. In the days immediately following the demise of Lehman Brothers…

  6. Finance Blogger: Anthony Harrington

    Global warming, the challenge for the insurance sector

    The fear that our world will be subjected to increasingly violent weather events is one of the major drivers prompting the nations of the world to work together to mitigate the risks of climate change. That global warming will cause more violent storms and create havoc is also, of course, of major concern to the world’s insurance companies, who write billions of dollars of business in fire and flood insurance. The challenges facing the sector form the subject of…

  7. Finance Blogger: Anthony Harrington

    ING splits its banking and insurance arms—The end of the bank assurer?

    One instance doesn’t make a trend, but the decision by the Dutch financial services group ING to separate out its banking and insurance arms in the interests of “transparency” and “simplicity”—both unarguably core values for investors post the crash—will send modest ripples through the bank-assurer sector. As ING chief executive Jan Hommen admitted when he broke the news to press and analysts, ING has been…

  8. Finance Blogger: Ian Fraser

    Back to the future

    Morality and business ethics were on the agenda at the closing session of the QFINANCE debates on the future of finance held in Doha this week. Following a lively debate, delegates at the CNBC debate on the future of finance (“Same rules, same game”) voted on four possible outcomes of the banking and financial crisis. Each proposition was advanced by a finance practitioner, advisor, or scholar. In the end, the winning proposition at the debate…

  9. Finance Blogger: Ian Fraser

    Don’t count chickens on recovery

    There is a danger that central bankers including Jean-Claude Trichet of the European Central Bank and Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve will hold interest rates too low and for too long—just as their predecessors did after the terror attacks on the United States in September 2001. Speaking at the launch event of QFINANCE in Doha on Wednesday, Rajar Kumar Gupta, senior partner emeritus at management consultants McKinsey & Co, warned…

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