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Category: News & Articles

  • July 2, 2012

    The Latest Scandal to Beset British Banks

    Mark has appeared on BBC News Channel, Sky TV, Radio 4 and Radio 5 over the past few days as the LIBOR banking has unfolded. This sets out his views on this fast moving story: I suspect that today’s resignation of Barclays’ Chairman, Marcus Agius, will be the first of several high profile departures in the weeks ahead. For those who wistfully hoped that Barclays alone was implicated in this LIBOR scandal, the news that RBS had fired four traders following irregularities and that the Bank of England may also...
  • July 1, 2012

    Will London survive as the world’s financial capital?

    As the world’s most powerful leaders gathered in Mexico last month for the latest G20 ‘last chance saloon’, each turned to their domestic media to declare that ‘something must be done’ to stem the descent of the global economy into chaos. Surely no one disagreed. But what and by whom? When politicians concur only on the gravity of a situation, the seemingly endless rounds of summitry achieve precisely the opposite to their goal – the unnerving impression of impotence. Precious wonder that investors now seek security. With the Eurozone’s problems deepening, many find...
  • June 29, 2012

    Accounting & Business Magazine – Field of Competitive Dreams

  • June 22, 2012

    A Modern Moral Maze

    It is difficult not to have some sympathy with David Cameron over what I suppose will soon be known as “Carr-gate”. In today’s 24/7 media world there is a constant demand on political figures to provide a running commentary on populist media campaigns.
  • June 19, 2012

    It is not only the Eurozone kicking the can down the road

    As the Greek economic tragedy reaches yet another climax, it remains fashionable from these shores to decry the Eurozone for its schizophrenic lurching between hapless inaction and spurts of frenetic, if misguided, activism. However, with this critique in mind, it might also be wise to examine carefully what is happening closer to home. For so long as global financial markets remain flooded with cheap money, courtesy of government underwritten bailouts, then political consideration will continue to outweigh sound economics. Conservatives are right to dismiss the Opposition claim that the UK economy...
  • June 13, 2012

    Jeremy Hunt Censure

    The following article is to be published in tomorrow's edition of City AM: The Liberal Democrats’ decision to play politics over the Jeremy Hunt censure vote will not be forgotten by already aggrieved Conservative backbenchers. The opportunity for revenge at some future point will be relished.
  • May 31, 2012

    A worrying sequel to the Arab Spring

    The global media circus has moved on from Cairo, Alexandria and the Egyptian seaboard. Soon the current rapt attention to the terrible bloodshed in Damascus, Houla, Aleppo and Homs will similarly pass. Yet for the nine million Egyptian Coptic Christians and the two million Syrian followers of Christ, whose lineage goes back to St Paul’s proselytising in the first century AD, these are desperate times. Religious minorities often find their most assured protection under dictatorships. Forget all the talk about liberators fighting against the existing regime in Syria, or of democrats and progressives triumphantly taking the reins in Egypt...
  • May 18, 2012

    The Illusion of Prosperity

    Sarkozy is history, the Greeks are in paralysis, the Coalition has for the first time experienced mid-term electoral blues (just wait until May 2013 and 2014). This month has already been one of savage reprimand at the polls in Europe. Yet rather than a definitive judgement on the benefits or otherwise of austerity, I suspect electorates continent-wide are issuing a plague on all our houses...
  • May 9, 2012

    City AM – Hollande’s Victory

    Mark was asked by City AM to comment on the impact of Francois Hollande's election as French President on the City of London. His views were published in today's paper: Francois Hollande’s victory at the weekend by a majority only slightly larger than Boris Johnson’s over Ken Livingstone scarcely provides him with a convincing mandate for radical change. Constrained by a lack of executive experience and the watchful eye of the international markets, I suspect Hollande will follow in the footsteps of his Socialist predecessor, Francois Mitterand, who was elected on a radical platform which he was soon forced to water down ....
  • May 4, 2012

    Executive Pay

    Hot on the heels of the controversy at Barclay’s Bank’s AGM last week comes news of a major revolt at Aviva where nearly 60% of shareholders refused to back boardroom pay deals after a 30% fall in the price of the insurer's shares. This surely the first of many high profile shows of shareholder strength. The abiding lesson here is that any AGM vote to overturn a Remuneration Committee recommendation must be binding. Like most Conservative MPs, only a few years ago I cannot imagine that I would have been open minded to the notion of government interference in the remuneration...