October 13, 2012

Me, London, regulators, banks, lions, pussycats and FT’s pink

In 1979-80 I spend a year in London, taking corporate finance at London Business School (evenings) and assisting to classes on International Economics at London School of Economics, and doing an internship at Kleinwort Benson, one of those traditional daring British merchant banks I so much admired. And of course, during that year, the pink Financial Times was my daily read. 

But some 30 years later, the banks have now been castrated by regulators, not allowed to be daring any more. This they did giving the banks extraordinary incentives to lend to “The Infallibles” and, if a bank wants to remain competitive in the markets, making it almost prohibitive for it to lend to “The Risky”. And, since FT seems not at all concerned about that, now, its pink begins to bear a quite different connotation to me.

How sad… and that sentiment goes for British banks too…. Lions forced to be caged pussycats… forgetting how to hunt and getting dangerously obese eating mice.