Category Archives: Politics

The top five unlearned lessons of the financial crisis

The above entitled article on Reuters was written by Bethany McLean, one of the authors of the book “The Smartest Guys In The Room”, which eventually became an Academy Award nominated documentary about the wiles of Enron.

The article makes for exceptional reading and is a must for those involved with the banking industry and especially those involved in risk, audit, finance and compliance. I highly recommend it to all. Please use the link below to access it.

The top five unlearned lessons of the financial crisis

Important Lessons From The Syria Crisis

There are several lessons that one should learn from the current crisis in Syria in terms of history, geopolitical strategy and the balance of powers.

America Has Always Been Reluctant To Engage In Foreign Wars

America has always been reluctant to engage in foreign wars. They waited virtually until the last minute to enter World War I and were literally forced into World War II by the actions of Japan at Pearl Harbour. As such, the current reluctance to engage in Syria is nothing new. However, the ghost of the Iraq War does play a major role in this new found affinity for non-intervention.  Continue reading

How Race, Xenophobia Are Defining American Democracy

The following is the third in a series of articles on democracy. The first article, on the Arab Spring can be found here and the second article on the EU can be found here.

During the 1980s, despite his hawkish attitude towards the Soviet Union and his placement of US nuclear missiles in Europe, President Ronald Reagan reached agreement on the reduction of nuclear weapons with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Some historians say that Reagan’s challenge to the Soviet system was one of the reasons for the downfall of communism.

Fast forward to December 2012 where the US Senate fails to muster the two-thirds majority required for ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. They failed because Republicans feared the Tea Party would go against them for making deals with the UN, a “foreign power”.

It is a sad statement on the state of democracy in America today—those who claim to be Reagan’s followers have no clue as to how his legacy was developed. It is all a testament to the role race and xenophobia are playing in the political gridlock that is today’s American democracy. Continue reading

Is The EU Good Or Bad For Democracy?

The following is the second in a series of articles on democracy. The first article, on the Arab Spring, can be found here.

Those who believe that the European Union is bad for democracy are perhaps not taking into account all of its achievements. They need to take a closer look. Continue reading

Banks Desperately Need A Crisis Management Plan (Part 2)

A few days ago I posted an article, which can be found here, setting out why banks needed to up their game in terms of developing a plan to manage the current crisis, otherwise they faced the imposition of regulations and higher capital requirements that would be bad for them and bad for their economies. Well both Barclays and Deutsche just got a nasty surprise. Continue reading

Bloomberg Contributor Predicts Fall Of The Chinese Economy

A Bloomberg article by William Pesek predicts the fall of the Chinese economy based on the fact that the country has embarked on a project to build the largest skyscraper in the world–as did the US, Japan, Malaysia and Japan before it. Continue reading

Banks Desperately Need A Crisis Management Plan

Can you imagine a major industry which suffers a near death experience, angers its entire customer base—wholesale and retail, domestic and international—and yet refuses to publicly apologise and adopt a plan of action that commits the industry to not repeating the mistakes of the past. That is where the banking industry is at right now.

This lack of decisive action on the part of the industry’s leadership will do lasting damage to not only the industry but also to its as yet unforgiving customers and the global economy. Part of the problem is that the industry does not appear to even realise that it is in a crisis—one which has been brought about by a complete loss of public faith in its activities. That is a tragedy. Continue reading