The Great Debate UK

from Raw Japan:

Historic win in Japan. Now what?

Historic is usually a word that makes my skin crawl when I see it in the news. Journalists are prone to overuse it, so when I saw it in our election stories I had to stop myself deleting it -- because this election truly is historic.JAPAN-ELECTION

The Liberal Democratic Party had never lost an election since its founding in 1955. Even when it lost power for a few months in 1993/94, it was because of LDP lawmakers defecting rather than an election loss.

So the Democratic Party, under prime minister-elect Yukio Hatoyama, has a huge mandate. What will he do with it?

It's clear that the last two elections were votes for a change to the old system where the ruling LDP, big business and bureaucrats ruled the place. Remember the 2005 LDP landslide was led by Junichiro Koizumi running on the destruction of his own party's pork-barrel history.

from Commentaries:

Shock! Banker says banks must shrink

One of the most depressing, though predictable, aspects of the financial crisis has been the reluctance of senior bankers to publicly debate the industry’s shortcomings.

Though there has been plenty of finger-pointing in private, bankers have refrained from discussing their own - and each other’s - failures in public. The result is that the debate about the future of banking has been almost entirely conducted by non-bankers.

Banks get mixed reviews from institutional shareholders

Photo

Brendan Woods- Brendan Wood is Chairman of Brendan Wood International, a global intelligence advisory firm. Recently, BWI published the World’s TopGun CEOs as ranked by 2500 institutional investors, which provides insight into the executives in whom shareholders feel the greatest confidence. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Brendan Wood International tracks the competitive position of investment bankers in global and regional markets. It also compiles the confidence rankings of hundreds of global shareholders in corporate investments, including those in the world’s leading banks. As of mid-2009, the Brendan Wood Investor Panel found a mixture of sharp criticism, but also some occasional strong praise for these “newly refurbished” financial behemoths.

Shareholder confidence vs. value investing

Photo

Brendan Woods- Brendan Wood is Chairman of Brendan Wood International, a global intelligence advisory firm. Recently, BWI published the World’s TopGun CEOs as ranked by 2500 institutional investors, which provides insight into the executives in whom shareholders feel the greatest confidence. The opinions expressed are his own. -

The Brendan Wood International’s panel of 2500 institutional investors suffered through last year’s markets believing value would somehow prevail. Those value investing “diehards” indeed died hard.

The stockmarkets: irrational nonchalance

Photo

Laurence Copeland- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Before the credit crunch, we had what I called a Prozac market. Investors on both sides of the Atlantic seemed to be in denial, as irrational as the people who end up in the bankruptcy court because for years they have kept on smiling while the bills piled up unopened.

Financial crisis might make opportunity for poor countries

Photo

John Meadowcroft
- John Meadowcroft is Lecturer in Public Policy at King’s College London. He contributes to the Institute of Economic Affairs blog. The opinions expressed are his own. -

The present financial crisis may be understood as the hangover that inevitably follows a long period of excess. The contraction of world trade that it has brought is bad news for the citizens of least developed countries (LDC) who have not enjoyed the party but may now be required to share the costs.

Borrowing from the 1930s to solve the financial crisis

Photo

Alan Beattie, FT Economics Leader Writer.- Alan Beattie is world trade editor at the Financial Times, and author of the recent book “False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World”. He studied history at Oxford and economics at Cambridge, and worked as a Bank of England economist before joining the FT. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Those who forget history are condemned to listen to historians going on and on about it, a fate almost as bad as listening to economists doing the same. (And I write as a double agent with a foot in both camps attempting the delicate task of bringing the two together in my new book)

from The Great Debate:

Conceptual problems in commodity regulation

John Kemp Great Debate-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

The financial crisis and wild gyrations in commodity prices have exposed deep conceptual flaws in the way academics and regulators think about commodity markets that will force a fundamental re-think.

In particular, they have demolished three key main planks on which the laissez-faire approach to regulation has rested:

Don’t scapegoat the Germans for crisis

Photo

paul-taylor– Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

A revisionist theory on the causes of the global financial crisis blames surplus countries like China, Japan and Germany as much as highly-leveraged, deregulated finance in the United States and Britain.

  •