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Stories by the author

Spain’s Pain: Will The Spanish Banking System Collapse?

Spain’s banking system is in a fragile state. Already, bad property loans are threatening to bring the system down like a house of cards, while international pressure means that the government has little manoeuvrability to support the system if further disruptions occur. Needless to say, the Spanish government is desperate to have the banking sector solve its own problems without a bailout from either the state or the EU. But will this be possible?

Greed On Speed: The Sins Of High-Frequency Trading

High-frequency trading has been in existence since 1999; thought it only caught the public’s attention after the “Flash Crash” in 2010 – when high-frequency liquidity providers were found to have withdrawn from the market, resulting in increased volatility and inflated asset price bubbles. But does speed-trading, as it is sometimes called, deserve its bad reputation or does it really create a “mirage of liquidity”?

There can be little doubt that high-frequency trading (HFT) is a malign force in the financial markets.

Dead End Economics: The Curse Of Neoclassical Thinking

Neoclassical economics has led us into a cul-de-sac. Although alternatives do exist, neoclassical thought has been so deeply entrenched into our finance ministries, economics departments, banks and other financial institutions, until a widespread belief has now materialised: that fictions like “perfect markets” and “efficient market hypothesis” are real.

China’s Economic Puzzle: Why The Bears & Bulls Just Can’t Agree

There have been wildly different opinions about China's economic prospects in recent years. While plenty of investors remain very bullish about China, others express doubt about China’s economic future – with some even betting on a major financial catastrophe to happen anytime soon. Why are there two distinct camps on China’s economy and are there statistics to support either side?

Should We Care About Income Inequality, Now That It Is Killing The Economy?

In the last few years, the debate on socioeconomic inequality has received greater media attention and academic interest, especially after last year’s Occupy Movement. However, governments across the world have been slow to enact real changes to address the rising epidemic. Income disparities have the potential to upset social equilibriums, and when that happens, the economic recovery might inadvertently be stalled.

Who Will Win The War Over Financial Regulations?

As the world continues to clamp down on untamed speculative finance, disagreements between nations, global banks and financial institutions are likely to intensify. At the same time, the financial sector, and its lobbyists, will be doing all they can to adulterate, block or water down any reforms. Can any of the reforms stick, or will they ultimately have the perverse effect of increasing, and not decreasing, financial instability?

Can The Growth of Emerging Markets Outpace Developed Markets?

While there remains much optimism in the potential of emerging markets, the truth is their economies are still largely dependent on the performance and health of developed markets. By most accounts, emerging markets are export-driven, and highly sensitive to currency movements and commodity prices. Given the weak slim chance of global recovery this year, what is the fate of emerging markets?


The Future Of Oil Prices In 2012? It’s Anyone’s Guess

There is a remarkably wide spread of views among professional oil analysts concerning oil prices in 2012. While some factors, such as shale gas, could potentially push prices down, the situation in Iran for instance threaten to send the price of oil soaring. Still, despite the uncertainty, there appears to be a consensus-anticipated range among analysts. Or at least for now it seems.

China’s 2012 Outlook: The Bad News about the Reserve Cut

We’ve heard both sides of the debate of how China’s economy will land. Some have predicted a soft landing, others the contrary. At the same time, many others have said 2012 will be the year of the Europocalypse and the final mile for China’s economic boom. But what does the Chinese Central Bank feel about 2012, and what can we infer from the Bank’s recent reserve cut?

UK’s Alarming Apathy Towards Its Banking Sector’s Criminality

The UK’s financial regulatory bodies have shown a surprising "hear no evil" attitude to criminality in its banking and financial sector. At times, the financial regulators almost seemed to want to pretend that criminality and fraud didn't, or couldn't exist in the domain they are supposed to police. Unless this issue is addressed, London risks losing its mantle as a world leading financial centre.

Can The “Wild Beast of Finance” Be Tamed?

The re-regulation of derivatives has been a subject of enormous debate. After the US government completely deregulated over-the-counter derivatives back in 1999-2000, many critics argued that the complexity and lack of transparency in the market amplified the problems of the 2008 financial crisis. However, proponents say that the flexibility of OTC derivatives provide for financial innovation and user customization. As such, should the “wild beast of finance” be tamed, and more importantly, can it even be tamed in the first place.