British regulators have finally published their report into HBOS, the bank formed from the merger of Halifax with Bank of Scotland, more than seven years after its collapse. The 600-odd pages contain much detail on events and personalities. But there are general lessons for all businesses. Avoid the diversifier’s fallacy. Beware the winner’s curse. Fear adverse selection.
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25 November 2015, Financial Times
29 July 2015, Financial Times
The Greek crisis is not simply the result of Athens’ inept public administration but also of an extensive carry trade on eurozone convergence by northern European banks, notably in France and Germany, which obtained short-term profits by matching northern eurozone liabilities with southern eurozone assets. For every foolish borrower there is usually a foolish lender.
04 June 2014
John contrasts Timothy Geithner’s firefighting approach to financial crises with the analysis of their political origins of Calomiris and Haber in Fragile by Design
23 October 2013, Financial Times
If I had a million pounds for every time I have heard a possible reform opposed because “it wouldn’t have prevented Northern Rock or Lehman Brothers going bust”, I might now have enough money to bail out a bank.
01 May 2013, Financial Times
Ambiguity is often attractive to politicians and costly to taxpayers.
03 April 2013, Financial Times
The belief that the right response to the failures of Basel I and II is a more elaborate version of the same global regime is a triumph of hope over experience.
19 September 2012, Financial Times
Effective banking reform should aim at structures, not at intensified supervision. Resilient systems are simple ones.
16 April 2011, Financial Times
Why do we so often find that events reinforce what we already believe? John explains how confirmation bias characterises reactions to the financial crisis.
13 April 2011, Financial Times
John reviews the interim report of the Independent Banking Commission. The direction of travel is right but the devil is in the detail
09 March 2011, Financial Times
The suggestion that we might partially turn back the clock has been described as a call for “Hovis banking”, referring to an advertisement that plays on nostalgia. The commercial succeeds because we believe the bread our grandparents ate, before innovations in technology and marketing, was nicer and more wholesome. Perhaps that is true in banking as in baking.
01 September 2010, Financial Times
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