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Beijing firm that guarantees 3 billion Yuan worth of loans is on the verge of collapse

When investors talk of a Chinese hard-landing they're referring to either four consecutive quarters of below 5 percent GDP growth, or, as China expert Patrick Chovanec points out a financial crisis. And as loan guarantee company Zhongdan Investment Credit Guarantee Co. that has over 3 billion yuan in loan guarantee contracts stands on the brink of bankruptcy according to Caixin Online, concerns about a financial crisis are beginning to surface too.

13 Wall Street phrases that have no meaning

There's plenty of interesting and helpful Wall Street terminology out there. However, it's an unfortunate tendency of pundits and analysts alike to try to sound smarter or more connected by tossing around jargon that can be meaningless and even misleading. These are cliches, placeholders, and half truths that we see all day on TV and in analyst notes. If you hear them, change the channel. You're not likely to hear anything of use.

Iran sentences 4 to death for billion-dollar embezzlement

The scandal involved an Iranian investment company that allegedly used forged documents to secure loans worth $2.6 billion.

Mad as hell at Barclays

LONDON — After the interest rate scandal at Barclays, Brits are pulling their money from High Street banks at a rate faster than during the 2008 crash. Is the end near for abusive financial institutions?

Barclays CEO Bob Diamond quits

"The external pressure has reached a level that risks damaging the franchise – I cannot let that happen," Diamond said.

Student banking: Now available with a happy ending

(VIDEO) A Czech banking commercial makes student bank accounts sound positively orgasmic.
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Why isn't banking in the US this much fun? (Screen grab/GlobalPost)

Collecting grossly inappropriate Eastern European advertisements is one of my long-time hobbies.

Yes, it is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, but hey, it’s more fun than collecting stamps.

You may remember the billboard I saw in Slovakia last year.

It featured a nude woman with no pubic hair with a slogan that read: “Have you been neglecting your front year lately?”

It was, naturally, an ad for a hardware store.

Well, I think I can top that one today.

Straight from prime time Czech television comes this gem:

A young woman on the screen is having an orgasm for about ten seconds. You are not sure what’s happening. Has my TV accidentally switched to a German porn channel?

No, no, no.

Shortly, you find out it’s an ad for banking. For student accounts, to be precise.

The message is this: You wish your “first time” was as good as your first bank account.

The bank account package, by the way, is called G2. Students thus have their own banking G-spot in each branch of Komercni banka. Quite handy, eh?

The ad comes (literally) in two variations. One features a woman.

The other one features a man:


UK banks and insurers blacklist cluster munition makers

Major banks and insurers in the United Kingdom have halted business with a dozen companies that make cluster bombs, according to the Guardian.

British bankers: another slap in the face

Former head of troubled RBS, is stripped of his knighthood.
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The former "Sir" Fred Goodwin days before he was removed as head of RBS, Britain's largest bank, back in 2008 (AFP/Getty Images)

Fred Goodwin built the Royal Bank of Scotland into Britain's largest bank in the bubble years and was given a knighthood in 2004 for "services to banking." Goodwin then drove RBS over a cliff in the crash, leaving the British taxpayer to pick up the bill - so far £45 billion ($ 71.6 billion).

Yesterday it was announced that Sir Fred would revert to being plain, old Fred. The papers will probably continue to call him by his pre-kinghthood nickname of "Fred the Shred" for his slash and burn approach to management.

It was conservatives who led the charge to have Goodwin's knighthood taken away. George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, applauded the decision, "RBS came to symbolise everything that went wrong in the British economy over the past decade."


British Bank chief gives back million pound bonus

Stephen Hester, CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland, bows to public pressure
Stephen Hester, ceo of Royal Bank of Scotland (FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/AFP/Getty Images)

When a banker gives back a seven-figure bonus that's news. Of course, there is a story attached.

Stephen Hester, is head of RBS, Britain's largest bank and epicenter of the banking crisis in 2008. The British government bailed out the ultimate too big to fail institution and that means the British taxpayer owns 83 percent of the bank.

Hester was recruited by the government of Labour's Gordon Brown to run the bank after the previous management was forced out as the price of the rescue. He took a paycut to try and turn the bank around. He has by all accounts done a reasonable job.

But to wipe debt off the bank's books he has had to shed staff. I blogged about the latest cuts last week.


"Crisis of Capitalism?" Europe: daily economic round-up

Cameron speaks, Stock markets up, bonds sell

The "crisis of capitalism" is a phrase more associated with Marxists than Conservative politicians like British Prime Minister David Cameron, but with the public still dismayed by what it sees as the excesses of the financial services industry - particularly bankers' pay and bonuses - and with bonus season about to get underway, Cameron needed to address the issue.

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