Davos Notebook

from Felix Salmon:

The negative-sum new reality

By Felix Salmon
January 27, 2011

Remember those off-the record comments by "top executives from Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered" which indicated that the era of contrition had come to an end? Well, they're on the record now, splashed all over the front page of this morning's FT. Goldman's Gary Cohn is coming out swinging, saying that the real danger to the global economy is now posed by unregulated non-banks, while Peter Sands of Standard Chartered reckons that most bank regulations will no more prevent another crisis than seatbelts on airplanes will prevent a plane crash.

Italian CEO says retail banks need time to adapt

January 30, 2010

Yesterday I spoke to Antonio Vigni, CEO of Siena-based Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world’s oldest bank. Below are two video clips of Vigni answering questions on lending in Italy and the hot topic of regulation.

George Osborne discusses banking

By Reuters Staff
January 28, 2010

George Osborne, finance spokesman for the UK Conservative Party, relays his thoughts on the discussion of the banking system taking place at Davos.

Five themes for Davos

January 22, 2010

Top (L-R): Steve Clarke, Natsuko Waki, Gerard Wynn, Martin Howell
Bottom (L-R): Peter Thal Larsen, Felix Salmon, Ben Hirschler, Krista Hughes

from James Saft:

Save capitalism from the banks – Nassim Taleb

January 30, 2009

Black Swan

Nassim Nicholas Taleb,  the author of  "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable", has a simple proposal to as he puts it, "save capitalism and free markets from the banks."

The Pepsi challenge: avoiding guilt by association

January 30, 2009

One theme emerging out of this year’s Davos meeting is the corporate world’s annoyance with bankers. They feel that they have been brought low not by their own sins but by an out of control finance industry beset by greed and skewed incentives.

from James Saft:

Shocker – Davosians vote against more regulation

January 28, 2009

Duncan Niederauer, chief exec of NYSE Euronext, told a panel here at Davos that rather than inventing a whole host of new regulations, we'd be better off focusing on existing means of bringing order to markets, specifically taking a page from the exchanges books by having central clearing and more price transparancy for derivatives and off-exchange structured products. I think he's actually got a great point about clearing and better price information, but I can't see this as being anywhere near bringing regulation up to scratch.

from James Saft:

Stephen Schwarzman’s hair of the dog

January 28, 2009

jimsaftcolumnSo what is Blackstone Group chairman Stephen Schwarzman's prescription for solving the banking crisis?