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QFINANCE is a unique collaboration of more than 300 of the world’s leading practitioners and visionaries in finance and financial management, covering key aspects of finance including risk and cash-flow management, operations, macro issues, regulation, auditing, and raising capital.

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

Date: 3 May 2012

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?

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Greed On Speed: The Sins Of High-Frequency Trading

Date: 19 April 2012

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the public’s attention after the “Flash Crash” in 2010 – when high-frequency liquidity providers were found to have withdrawn from the market, resulting in increased volatility and inflated asset price bubbles.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”?

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Can Consumers & Taxpayers Be Saved From The Bonus-Crazed Financial Sector?

Date: 5 April 2012

In recent years, Michel Barnier, the EU commissioner for the internal market and services, has tried to oversee regulatory reform for the financial sector towards serving the society. But, the biggest obstacle to his progress, according to Barnier himself, is financial lobbying that has a clear vested interest in the status quo and neutralising reforms.

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Dead End Economics: The Curse Of Neoclassical Thinking

Date: 26 March 2012

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.


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

Date: 12 March 2012

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?

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

Date: 17 February 2012

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.

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Who Will Win The War Over Financial Regulations?

Date: 30 January 2012

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?

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Can The Growth of Emerging Markets Outpace Developed Markets?

Date: 19 January 2012

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?

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

Date: 13 January 2012

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.

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

Date: 20 December 2011

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? 

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

Date: 9 December 2011

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.

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Can The “Wild Beast of Finance” Be Tamed?

Date: 29 November 2011

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.

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Europe’s New Technocracy: Superseding Democracy & Force Feeding Austerity

Date: 17 November 2011

In just one month, both Greece and Italy have made dramatic changes to their governments. The technocrats are now in charge, with the governments from both nations seeing fit to appoint un-elected officials into power in a desperate attempt to deal with their respective crises. But are we heading down a slippery slope towards a “banker’s coup” in the heart of Europe?

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The Grand Charade Of UK’s Most Dangerous Banker

Date: 10 November 2011

Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond surprised many this month when he admitted on a lecture broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Today that banks had done a “poor job” of explaining how they contribute to society and that many people had failed to notice how the banks had changed since the 2008 financial crisis. But while Diamond’s statements appear reconciliatory, much of what he said was cosmetic, window-dressing, and lacking in real substance. Has “the most dangerous man in Britain” changed his spots or has this been all one grand charade?

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Reclaiming Economics As A Moral Science

Date: 3 November 2011

Many believe that science is about innovation that can improve the living conditions of humanity. For decades, the study of economics was conceived and taught as a “moral science,” until the fateful day Cambridge University decided to categorize economics under the school of “social science.” One of this year's Nobel Prize winner for economics is a keen advocate of efficient markets, a school of thought that has contributed much to the current financial meltdown. In light of the current economic crisis, we wonder: What has economic science done for humanity?


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Is Occupy Wall Street Bringing Back “Real” Capitalism?

Date: 27 October 2011

Modern capitalism, as we know it, is a sick and distorted perversion of its true origins. Since the 1980s, the form of capitalism that has dominated western economies has been one where large corporations and most financial institutions are able to privatize their gains whilst socializing their losses. The recent Occupy Wall Street movement, as such, isn’t so much as a retaliation against capitalism, but rather against its modern incarnation.

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Appetite For Self-Destruction: Have Rating Agencies Lost The Plot?

Date: 20 October 2011

If Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s had a decent public relations consultant he/she would advise a calm period of low profile, or, in other words, the exact opposite strategy to the headline-chasing frenzy that appears to have gripped all three agencies. It is as if they are desperate to get the message across that hey, they’re not afraid of downgrading anything any more. But simply firing out downgrades cannot undo the damage they did to themselves prior to the financial crisis when they were happily dishing out AAA ratings to rubbish securitized packages of mortgages.

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Can China Alone Save the Eurozone?

Date: 13 October 2011

China is under pressure to bailout European countries facing debt crises. It is in the interest of China to save the eurozone, but China so far seems reluctant to extend a helping hand. As governor of the Chinese central bank, Zhou XiaoChuan told the IMF, it is still too early for China to intervene – which is probably code for “If you think we are buying euros or even euro bonds on any kind of scale while you are in this mess, think again.”


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Strikeout! A Triumvirate of Failure: Bernanke, Obama and Trichet

Date: 6 October 2011

6 October 2011. In the course of the past few days, three leading figures attempted to redirect the attention of the markets by giving positive speeches about economic plans for their country/region. Yet all three failed miserably as the markets responded worse than ever. The big lesson from the three speeches is clear. The markets are no longer in the mood to tolerate political pap. They want substance, or else!

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Inside The Mind Of The UBS 'Rogue' Trader

Date: 30 September 2011

 30 September 2011. There have been many rogue traders in the course of financial history. Bernard “Bernie” Madoff operated the world’s largest Ponzi scheme and was sentenced to 150 years behind bars in June 2009. One would imagine that a recent precedent in Madoff would deter financial fraudsters from striking again, at least for a while. Apparently not.

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