Financial Crisis

Why bailouts can do more harm than good

Andrew Sheng, who advises the mainland banking regulator, says there is no free lunch when it comes to managing deficits. Photo: May Tse

Beijing should not bail out all domestic financial institutions that get into trouble, particularly the smaller ones that might face a squeeze as the risk of credit default rises in the world's No 2 economy.

Monday, 5 August, 2013, 9:00am

Ex-head of Spain's Caja Madrid accused over Florida bank takeover

Miguel Blesa

Miguel Blesa, 65, who has links to senior members of Spain's governing Popular Party, was held overnight in a Madrid jail and came out on Friday after putting up €2.5 million (HK$25 million) in bail, a prisons service official said.

19 May 2013 - 7:09am

Can the BRICS break through the global gridlock?

The G20 summit in St Petersburg in September promises to be the most spectacular top-level gathering of its kind. Photo: EPA

Radical reforms of institutions tend to come in the wake of wars, as was the case after the second world war with the creation of the United Nations and the Bretton Woods financial architecture - the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the predecessor of today's World Trade Organisation.

27 Mar 2013 - 3:09am 1 comment

Standard & Poor's looks secure despite US government lawsuit

Standard & Poor's faces a US$5 billion charge for allegedly deliberately understating the risk of bonds backed by mortgages. Photo: Reuters

The Department of Justice accuses McGraw-Hill and its subsidiary Standard & Poor's of deliberately understating the risk of bonds backed by mortgages made to the riskiest borrowers, in order to win business from Wall Street banks.

7 Feb 2013 - 5:16am

Misguided belief in austerity diverts attention from need for jobs

Public health care and transport workers in Greece stepped up their action against the government's austerity policies in a 24-hour strike. Photo: EPA

Three years ago, a terrible thing happened to economic policy. Although the worst of the financial crisis was over, economies on both sides of the Atlantic remained deeply depressed, with very high unemployment. Yet the Western world's policy elite somehow decided en masse that unemployment was no longer a crucial concern, and that reducing budget deficits should be the overriding priority.

3 Feb 2013 - 6:42am

Admit it's a 'Western financial crisis'

Admit it's a 'Western financial crisis'

Why do we continue to call the recent turmoil the global financial crisis and not, as it should have been from the start, the Western financial crisis? After all, we have taken to naming financial crises by their origin in recent decades. It really should have been the "US and the euro zone financial crises".

So why this exception?

31 Jan 2013 - 5:37am 22 comments

Big banks fail to regain trust of the public

Canary Wharf in London is home to HSBC, Citigroup and Barclays, three of the big global banks suffering a slump in trust. Photo: Bloomberg

Leaders of the world's biggest banks, from Citigroup's Vikram Pandit to Barclays' Bob Diamond, have failed to honour promises made in Davos to restore trust in their industry after the financial crisis.

24 Jan 2013 - 4:58am

Three steps to jump-starting the global economy

Three steps to jump-starting the global economy

As the world enters yet another year in the shadow of continued financial and economic crisis, a broader view of the contours of the future global economy is required.

5 Jan 2013 - 2:38am

Does government interference help in financial crises?

Greece's Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras is fighting to protect his country. Photo: Reuters

Which single aspect of the complex mess of financial and economic crises supposedly coming to a head is absolutely certain? The answer is that governments will not solve these problems. They never do. At best, palliatives will be devised, interim solutions found and some of the worst consequences of fiscal default, or similar, will be avoided.

3 Dec 2012 - 4:26am

Tired ideas won't save ailing Western economies

Tired ideas won't save ailing Western economies

Over the past 20 years, nearly everyone seems to have become an economics expert. Discussions about complex economic theories, once reserved for dusty lecture halls in elite universities, are now heard all over Hong Kong. The bars in Central echo with arguments about growth rates, deflationary spirals and cures for unemployment.

15 Oct 2012 - 1:53am 3 comments

Spaniards rage against austerity near Parliament

Police shoot rubber bullets at protesters in Madrid on Tuesday. Photo: AP

Spain’s government was hit hard by the country’s financial crisis on multiple fronts on Tuesday as protestors enraged with austerity cutbacks and tax hikes clashed with police near Parliament, a separatist-minded region set elections seen as an independence referendum and the nation’s high borrowing costs rose again

26 Sep 2012 - 3:45pm

Smart money

The best resources for preparing for financial crisis

2 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Europe feels the pain Asia once endured

How strange! Markets across Asia plummeted on news of Francois Hollande's election victory in France and of the punishment Greece's mainstream parties suffered at the hands of voters for their austerity measures. The election results are a clear rejection by ordinary people of spending cuts and belt-tightening.

8 May 2012 - 12:00am

Chan warns funds may exit markets

European banks may withdraw their funding from global markets including Hong Kong because of the European debt crisis, warned Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Professor Chan Ka-keung.

Chan said that while banks in Hong Kong did not have big holdings of European sovereign debt, the impact of the crisis on them related to the funding issue.

7 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Lai See

Forget the financial crisis in Europe, try emerging economies instead

Some of you may be fretting about the ongoing financial crisis in Europe but, according to Robert Friedland, the founder and chief executive of Ivanhoe Mines, it's just a blip and in five years when we all look back it will barely register.

30 Nov 2011 - 12:00am