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H is for heft. Matt Buck

What’s gone wrong at HSBC?

As HSBC suffers under the scorching spotlight of public scrutiny once more, it is fair to ask why the banking group so often finds itself at the heart of the action.
Forex traders who went to the dark side could soon be forced to face the consequences. Justin Lane/EPA/AAP

Explainer: how bankers fixed forex trades and why it’s criminal

“Oh what a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive”. Sir Walter Scott’s comment could have been made about the LIBOR and foreign exchange (forex) scandals engulfing the world’s largest…
Labour reforms won’t cast much of a shadow in the City. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Labour talks tough on banking reform, but little will change

Given the scandals, bonus increases and plummeting lending to small and medium-sized British businesses, reform of the banking system is likely to be a hot topic in the run-up to the general election…
A simple (but profitable) formula for university education. Andreas Kyprianou

UK universities find a cash cow in the financial fall-out

The past three decades have seen an unprecedented explosion of activity in a new sub-discipline of mathematics: financial mathematics. The emergence of this field has parallelled the expansion of the quantitative…
Unfair? Image sourced from Shutterstock.com

Why do people hate bankers? No, really…

In survey after survey bankers rank poorly on ethics and honesty. It’s not hard to find entire websites dedicated to bank hatred. And Bank of America consistently rates in the top 10 most hated companies…
Unlike America, Australia is overbanked. Nicholas Eckhart/Flickr

Murray inquiry not made for a future with fewer banks

A key component of the Financial System Inquiry handed to Treasurer Joe Hockey this week was that “the financial system should be subject and responsive to market forces, including competition”. But on…
The collapse of Lehman Brothers was a pivotal moment in the most recent financial crisis. The next crash may feature another bank failure. Reuters

What will the next financial crisis look like – and are we ready?

The subprime crisis and the subsequent failure of Lehman Brothers came as such a shock – and the repercussions were so severe that when the time came to mount a response, policy makers were as surprised…
Debenhams: one of several quoted companies on the private equity merry-go-round. Karen Roe

The private equity deals that fail to justify ‘fast buck’ strategies

There is an ongoing and very heated debate between the unconditional supporters of private equity and their opponents. It’s not hard to see why. On the surface, these investors can often buy fragile companies…
EPA/Takaki Yajima

No consensus about Beijing’s new bank

China’s decision to establish an Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) may prove to be one of the most important regional initiatives in recent history. At the very least it is yet another revealing…
The world’s oldest bank, Banca Monte dei Paschi di in Siena, is now battling to survive, after failing the ECB’s stress tests. EPA/Carlo Ferraro

EBA stress test needs to use tougher metrics when assessing banks’ solvency

The results of the long-awaited European Banking Association (EBA) “stress tests” show that 25 banks were found wanting. Altogether, the banks were about €25 billion short of the capital required to be…

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