Tag Archives: Subprime

The New Paradigm: Major Central Banks Don’t Fail

Warren Buffet has called the Federal Reserve, the US central bank, “The Greatest Hedge Fund In History”.  That is because the Fed as it is commonly known has persisted in printing money and buying $85 billion in bonds each month in order to artificially support the US and by extension the global financial markets.

This is quite possibly the recipe for another financial disaster. Continue reading

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Are We On The Verge Of Another Financial Crisis?

Are we on the verge of another financial crisis?

It is a question well worth asking as the prices of stocks and property have been sky high by central bankers flooding the markets with cheap money.

What should risk professionals do?

The first question for risk managers, internal auditors and finance professionals is; how much of the cheap and plentiful liquidity provided by Quantitative Easing, or QE as it is known, has gone into inflating asset prices—stocks, bonds and housing?

The second question is: how far will asset prices fall when the Fed and the Bank of England start to “taper” or reduce their QE and how will that impact my institution? Continue reading

Bank Risk Culture: An Alternative View On The Causes Of The Last Financial Crisis

The following is the sixth in a series of articles on bank risk culture. The previous articles can be accessed here or by clicking the HOME tab on the blog.

A total meltdown in any system requires nothing less than a total rethink of the way forward.

Legislators and regulators have blamed the subprime financial crisis on a whole host of issues including derivatives, proprietary trading, deregulation, the collapse of Glass Steagall and the integration of retail and investment banking, as well as the overall failure of risk management and corporate governance. What we have learned so far in this series of articles is that the actual reasons are somewhat different as they relate to the overall culture of banking. Continue reading

Bank Risk Culture: Why Leadership At The Top Is Single Biggest Source Of Risk

The following is the fifth in a series of articles on bank risk culture. The previous articles can be accessed here or by clicking the HOME tab on the blog.

No discussion of risk and culture is complete without examining the role of leadership in defining both. This week’s article will demonstrate that poor leadership is the single biggest source of risk to an institution. It is also a source of risk which no amount of risk management or focus on risk culture can overcome. Continue reading

Why Focusing On Bank Risk Culture Is Meaningless

The following is the third in a series of articles on bank risk culture. The previous articles can be accessed on the blog here.

In the previous articles we argued that it is futile if not impossible to separate the risk culture of an institution from the other aspects of culture within it. This article further develops this assertion by looking at some very specific examples of how banks got into trouble during the subprime crisis and why, in each case, only focusing on risk culture would have been totally inadequate.

In a January 2009, The Economist wrote an article on Citigroup entitled “A House Built on Sandy”, a less than veiled reference to the bank’s former CEO Sandy Weill and its troubles during the financial crisis. The article did not pull any punches and here are just a few of the statements it made: Continue reading

Banks, Governments And Regulators Must Define Culture Before They Can Change It

Changing the culture of banks is a difficult task. However, given that the parties involved in making that change; banks, governments and regulators, are yet to define what it is they are trying to change, it makes their task not only difficult but practically impossible. Continue reading

Why Banks Are Still In Trouble, How They Must Change

Address to the City Book Fair in London by Jonathan Ledwidge.

Clearing The Bull (Part 1) – Ending 30 Years Of Banking Failures  What banks must first do to stop repeating their history of failure.

Clearing The Bull (Part 2) – Why Banks Are Still In Trouble                   The moment of clarity banks need if they are to make real progress.

Clearing The Bull (Part 3) – How Banks Must Change                              An insider’s view on making the banking industry more human and more competitively and economically sustainable.

Jonathan Ledwidge is the author of the book Clearing The Bull: The Financial Crisis And Why Banks Need A Human Transformation.