The upside of hard times
This could be the best year of your life; a year of discovery, correction, clearance, and enlightenment. 2009 could be the year that started all wrong and ended so right. The year things came right. Twenty years from now, when sharing life's lessons over a bottle of wine with friends, you might reflect on 2009 as your year of real change; that barrier year between who you were and who you became.
The unreal estate
For many people around the world, property rights are not well defined, enforced or monitored; resulting in over half of the world’s population living and working on ‘unreal estate’, i.e. without the security of property ownership.
In her book Prosperity Unbound: Building Property Markets With Trust, INSEAD alumna Elena Panaritis presents a holistic approach to combating this lack of formal rights, arguing that a new thinking process, combined with successful diagnosis a
How to recapitalise banks: a personal view
The current approach to solving the banking crisis is to put more government money into banks. The problem with this approach is that it creates fear of government meddling in the operational and financial decisions of the banking sector. The capitalist system can only survive if two conditions are met: managers are willing and capable of maximising shareholder value.
Global outlook: big spenders and penny-pinchers
In the US, extravagance is a normal way of life. In China, it is a sin. Such contrasting consumer psyche between the two economies needs to be evened out before a sustained recovery of the post-bubble global economy can be achieved in the longer run, says Stephen Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia.
African entrepreneurs must pressure governments to regulate business environments
Although many African companies will be hit by the current global slowdown, there is a lot that local entrepreneurs and their governments can do to improve their business environments, says Arthur Levi, former head of the World Bank’s private sector arm, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Europe.
World Bank to double lending to emerging economies in wake of crisis
The World Bank is aiming to double its lending to emerging economies that are most vulnerable from the fallout of the global financial crisis, World Bank president Robert Zoellick said at a recent forum in Singapore organised by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
Asia feels the pain caused by the crisis but could be poised for rapid recovery
Asia can’t escape the financial and economic crisis that is battering the rest of the world, but the region may be poised for a more rapid recovery if leaders in business and government work together and show leadership.
Coping with Copenhagen: the business implications
The Copenhagen Climate Summit (COP 15) began on December 7, 2009, on the heels of the pirating of the East Anglia University Climatic Research Unit's email exchanges, and calls of climate sceptics to re-examine the scientific basis for undertaking actions to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions originating from human activity.
What’s next after Copenhagen?
Was there too much riding on the United Nations Climate Change Conference which concluded in Copenhagen at the weekend?
‘Incredible consensus’ for regulatory reforms among G20, but political will weakening
In the face of the impending global financial meltdown a year ago, world leaders found clarity: financial regulatory frameworks needed to be overhauled.
A tale of two banks: hallmarks of the changing financial landscape
It would be difficult to find two financial institutions more indicative of the plus and minus sides of the financial tsunami that hit the world of banking this year: on the one hand, ING, the venerable international Dutch bank, forced to go to the government for a 10 billion euro bailout and now facing public evisceration at the hands of EU regulators. On the other hand, Standard Chartered Bank, a bastion of banking in Asia since the era of British imperial rule.
Climate change and business: the momentum stalls
While climate change has been in the headlines in recent months due to the Copenhagen talks and concerns about alleged data manipulation, businesses don’t appear to be making much headway in terms of carbon reduction. That’s according to a new EIU study due out later this month, which will reveal that net gains by businesses have been close to zero since last year.
Book review: The Indian Renaissance
Economics examiners must love China and India. What a perfect pair of rising economic Asian giants to use for a compare-and-contrast question for their students. A thousand years ago, both countries were civilised and technologically advanced while Europeans huddled in draughty castles and a gnawed meat off bones. Both countries missed out on the Industrial Revolution, and seemed bewildered by the rise of the barbarian West. But they succumbed to its domination, shook it off in the 1940s, then e
In defence of hedge funds
Hedge funds have come in for scrutiny of late, particularly for their role in the financial crisis. According to Christopher Fawcett, CEO of Fauchier Partners, which manages hedge fund and alternative investment portfolios, hedge funds have become a scapegoat as they are an easy target.
Planning for the unthinkable
We’ve been so focused on the financial crisis that we’ve neglected to pay attention to other issues, which, if left on the backburner, could upset the status quo. That’s the view of futurist and business strategist Peter Schwartz.
Lessons learned: The Nordic banking crisis of the 1990s
Once burned, twice shy. That’s a lesson that has helped a lot of Swedish and Finnish businesses dodge major disaster during the world’s most recent economic crisis.
The show must go on: Cirque du Soleil’s recession-proof formula
As we brace ourselves for what threatens to be the worst economic slump since the Great Depression, one company seems to be relatively unscathed by the global financial meltdown. According to Daniel Lamarre, president and chief executive officer of performance troupe Cirque du Soleil, whose shows still play to sell-out audiences, he is confident that his company will ride out the recession.
Asian private equity: coming of age
Looking at the numbers, it’s apparent that Asia’s private equity star is shining bright. Assets under management increased ninefold during the last 15 years to about $283 billion in 2009 – 60 per cent of that growth came in the last five years alone.
But for all its healthy growth, only one third of global limited partnerships (LP) have allocations to Asia, including developed markets like Japan, South Korea and Australia and developing economies like China and India, according to
In the world of banking, does size matter?
It was bound to happen. After pouring tens of billions of dollars, pounds and euros: as much as 5.5 per cent of the GDP of advanced economies, according to the International Monetary Fund, governments began to revolt. “If a bank is too big to fail, then it is too big,” the governor of the central bank of Belgium told a newspaper at the end of June. If this is true, then what about the corollary: “Small is beautiful?” If bankers’ bonuses are being capped, should the size of their banks
Rethinking what shareholder value means
By not ending too early, the current financial and economic crisis can actually be beneficial for shareholder value, says Urs Peyer, INSEAD associate professor of finance.