Posted tagged ‘finance’

EUROZONE’S BURNING, CONVENE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CONFERENCE!

September 15, 2015

EUROZONE’S BURNING, CONVENE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CONFERENCE!

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Magandang gabi! Good evening!

Eurozone is burning. Before the flames would reach infernal levels, the contagion effects thereof burning the other regions of the globe, a global financial conference should be convened most urgently.

The purpose of the conference would be to configure a new financial architecture. Such a policy architecture would then as guidepost to all nation-states and regional alliances (EU, trade regimes such as ASEAN, NAFTA, Mercosur, others) to follow.

In the absence of such a policy architecture, palliatives can only emerge from the board rooms of incompetent bureaucrats. Among such palliatives now arising are: (a) Merkel’s solution to regulate hedge funds operations (financial derivatives); and, (b) Obama & US Congress’ regulations of speculative excesses of its stock markets.

Such palliatives are merely piecemeal solutions, even as they are too partial and parochial. They weren’t derived from a comprehensive paradigm that could have generated clear explications of the financial/economic crises of our times. They are reactive rather than responsive. Absent a policy architecture, and the piecemeal solutions will only have short-run impacts, and will be folded up when “things will get better.”

The top agenda that must be taken up are:

  • Criminalize speculative excesses. Speculation has fueled bubble economies worldwide. Financial predators have emerged from the oligarchic quarters up North, who have played havoc on the equities and currency markets. If it will turn out beneficial to ban and criminalize hedge funds operations later, then so be it. Such vulture funds have no place in a civilized world where we witness poverty and hunger rising.
  • Tobin Tax cross-border transactions. In no way should unbridled cross-border transactions be allowed without taxation. A minimum Tobin Tax of 0.75% on all such transactions should be imposed. Higher tax on derivatives and commodities futures of 1.5% can also be agreed upon. The accruing tax revenues will then be turned over to the United Nations and attached agencies for their operations & maintenance budgets.

 

  • Condone fraudulent/usurious debts. Debts that are fraudulent or too usurious, notably those lent to developing economies, should be completely condoned. The same economies can then have a fresh start and breathing space for anti-poverty, jobs, and related social development efforts.
  • Abolish the Jurassic Fund (IMF). It is now time to re-assess the International Monetary Fund, leading to its abolition. It does not represent the interest of the member-states, but is rather a middle man peddling the interests of global financial cartels. Its top executives come from the ranks of the same cartels. It had imposed austerity measures on many developing economies, causing more hunger, poverty, low wages, and unemployment. This Jurassic Fund (to borrow from Walden Bello) must go!

 

  • Identify financial ‘White knights’. Authentic financial ‘white knights’ from among the emerging markets should be properly identified and urged to expand their operations. These financial groups can offer long-term financing at very low interest rates. The end-users should be authentic market players that are engaged in the productive sectors, which will end the practice of ‘white knight’ financing (such as the Yen Initiative Package) that lent money to financial cartels which in turn re-lent them at higher interest rates.
  • Ban banks from speculative pursuits. Commercial banks and development banks, or all banks for that matter, must be banned from engaging in speculative pursuits such as hedge funds, commodities, and ‘hot money’ operations. Banks must service the productive sectors and must infuse moral philosophy in their organizational cultures.

 

  • Abolish stock markets. Stock markets have never been instruments for wealth redistribution. They are filled with dirty operators. It’s now time to abolish them. In their stead should be instituted a direct link between investors and market players in need of fresh money, thus abolishing the stock trader as ‘middleman’. Reforming the stock markets isn’t the answer, but rather their abolition.

 

  • Institute gold reserve standard. The gold standard of the past was abolished, in order that gold be hoarded by a few cartels up North. It is time to institute a new form of gold standard serving as stabilizer and securitization instrument for currencies. The standard will eventually lead to a re-institution of currency control policy which redounds to a more stable global economy in the long run.

 

Let it be reiterated, that should the present situation be allowed to go on, with piecemeal parochial solutions carved out at best, a bigger global catastrophe will be in the offing. A more colossal nightmare is now unfolding, which we hope the Northern countries’ incompetent bureaucrats can see at all.

[22 May 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

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EUROPE’S BURNING!

September 6, 2015

EUROPE’S BURNING!

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Europe is on fire. Save for those who choose to be blind, the Union is going through an incendiary economic burn. How far will the economic burning go, whether it will spread to a larger continental inferno, no one can tell for now.

Before the EU’s creation, welfare policies were prevalent from east to west of the continent. Liberal reforms then arose, commencing with the Tory’s (Thatcher era) wholesale adoption and social marketing of the same, and copied by the conservatives and liberals of the continent alike.

By the turn of the century, upon the commencement of the Euro, liberal reforms already saw the uncontrollable ascent of predatory finance worldwide. Liberalized financial-capital markets paved the way for their immanence.

Among those instruments created by the predators was financial derivatives. To recall, a decade back the derivatives markets were already awash with exposures totaling over $150 Trillion, with 36% of these in the hands of British financiers while 15% were in Americans’ hands.

By 2001, the alarming projection was leaked out that derivatives will be inflated to exceed $350 Trillions within the new decade. At a time when the global economy was producing past the $40 Trillion in Gross World Product or GWP, it was sheer madness to consider debt papers of past $350 that could meltdown the globe in case of a gigantic bubble burst.

Europe was already flat on its back for a straight two (2) decades since after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Periodic stagflations and recessions have seen the rise of poverty incidence and, consequently, the re-emergence of neo-fascist movements.

Being strongly tied up to the U.S. economy, it was not surprising to realize that a contagion of the U.S. recession will surely hit Europe, which did happen. The ugly side of the formula was the aiding of ailing banks that were badly affected by the crisis, an intervention that was flawed and immoral as it entails using taxpayers’ money to aid criminal bank speculators.

Barely out of the U.S. contagion effect, Brussels was shocked to see that a new fire had started within the Eurozone— Greece to be exact. As this was happening, Spain also began to sneeze & cough, as some of its own banks (notably Santander) spiraled down bankruptcy scale. Other member-economies were also having their own financial crucifixions going by the early part of this current year.

If we diagnose what’s going on in the financial sectors of member states, we can easily pinpoint banks as hotspot fire sources. They were heavily into speculative pursuits, with enormous exposures to derivative operations.

Just exactly how that happened can be traceable to certain acts in the North by the mid-80s. Commodities markets have sprung up on that decade, even as a global recession took place then, threatening OECD economies. Liberal reforms were already permeating diverse sectors, and within the backdrop of liberalization, financial derivatives and equivalent portfolios were launched in mass scales.

Banks shed off their previous stance of inhibiting themselves from speculative pursuits. Soon they’d find themselves investing into every speculative games they could lay their hands into, inclusive of hedge funds operations.

Now, to fast track to the present, economists estimate that EU’s aggregate derivatives are within the range of $180-$200 Trillions, estimates that seem conservative. Measure this against the gross domestic product of EU at $13 Trillions, and you would be driven to ask: just exactly where will Europe get the funds to pay the hedged financials in case of bursts and massive bankruptcies?

If all of the hedge funds investors would ask for a forced payment of their total of, say, $200 Trillions more or less, who would pay for such debts? Where will the money come from? Is it morally right to extract taxes from European workers to pay up for the dirty debt papers in case? Is it likewise morally right to impose wage cuts on workers who were not the culprits in the virtual economy game in the first place?

Concerned Europeans should better rethink the Euro and ask whether the new currency really worked for their welfare. It is now clearer that the Euro was a sell-out idea and project, that it was launched to satiate the insatiable pockets of greedy financiers represented by the top financial houses there.

And Europeans better see how silly it is to allocate taxpayers’ money worth $1 Trillion to bail out ailing banks and industries hit by the rising meltdown. For measured against total debt papers of $180-200 Trillions, $1 Trillion would be ridiculously paltry.

Yet another ridiculous intervention is the austerity measure imposed by the IMF on Greece. We’ve had so many precedents of the deleterious effects of such measures on developing economies that aimed at eventually graduating from IMF programs as a salvation measure in the short run. While emerging markets are getting out of a burning house (IMF & austerity measures), Greece voluntarily entered this house. Unbelievable!

As per reports reaching my focals, Germany had the greatest exposures to Greece’s banking sector, with exposures running to hundreds of billions of euros. British financiers, on the other hand, have their hands full in Spain’s banks.

It isn’t difficult to forecast that the fire in Greece could spread to other eurozone economies. Not even the UK, which decided to stay out of the eurozone, will be spared from the bonfire. Spain is almost there now, and who knows what country will be next.

If banks and industrial conglomerates will simultaneously burn in all of the member-states of the eurozone, with total aid claims of past the GDP of $13 Trillions, then Europe will be on the brink of a continental inferno.

Concerned readers better think for yourself whether Brussels and the bureaucrats do have the right answers to the raging problems of Europe. Poverty incidences are now hitting past the 20% mark in member countries, while massive lootings of the financial and currency markets by predatory financiers take place every day in the continent.

Well, let’s all wait and see for what happens. Let us hope that a mad Nero bureaucrat wouldn’t appear to orchestrate the burning farther to infernal scale. That would bring a new nightmare to the whole planet if it happens.

[Philippines, 20 May 2010]

NEO-NATIONALISM’S PREMISES & CONTENTIONS / Strengthen national banking and the monetary system

April 25, 2015

NEO-NATIONALISM’S PREMISES & CONTENTIONS / Strengthen national banking and the monetary system

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

 

Economic stability at all levels demands the strengthening of a national banking system, and concomitantly the strengthening of monetary system with sovereignty-backed parameters and rules. First and foremost of monetary missions is the re-assertion of the powers of the Constitution of the Republic over the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Needless to say, the country today faces a weak national bank, and necessarily a weak monetary system engendered by it. Sovereignty questions impede the effective operations of national banking in the country, as indicated by the excessive meddling of the International Monetary Fund, acting as agent of the global financial cartels, in the Bangko Sentral’s operations. The first step should be a thorough investigation by the Congress of the Republic to determine precisely who owns and controls the Bangko Sentral, and conduct related oversight functions to assess the entire consolidated assets of the said bank inclusive of unaccounted precious metals.

Should there be a need to institute maximum monetary controls, the national bank should be mandated by the Congress precisely to exercise such controls through a regime of currency controls, where found warranted. In no way should our national currency be subjected to attacks by predatory financier speculators, as what the latter have been doing from the mid-1997 onwards. Money is the lifeblood of the economy, and rendering our money under a regime of free exchange rates and free trade leaves us extremely vulnerable to the machinations of such greedy forces, further weakening our national economy. Monetary controls are the best antidotes to the ailment of a weak currency. Were it possible to revive a system of gold reserve standard, then let such a strategy be studied and enforced, to ensure stability in monetary concerns and the currency markets.

The interest rate controls should likewise continue, but the state must see to it that the rate regimes are within the bounds of sovereignty parameters, representing thereof the national interest and the subsidiary interests of the various social sectors. And, should conditions warrant, our national bank should be among the key initiators for constituting new supra-national institutions, such as an Asian Monetary Fund, thus signaling our participation in reforming the entire financial & monetary system (see below). Our involvement in an Asian Monetary Fund could be a fitful strategy to finally exit from the International Monetary Fund, further strengthening our national banking and monetary system.

 

[From: Erle Frayne D. Argonza, “New Nationalism: Grandeur and Glory at Work!”. August 2004. For the Office of External Affairs – Political Cabinet Cluster, Office of the President, Malacaňan Palace.]

ZAIBATSU GLOBALIZATION ‘VOODOO ECONOMICS’ BOWING OUT

November 3, 2014

ZAIBATSU GLOBALIZATION ‘VOODOO ECONOMICS’ BOWING OUT
Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang hapon! Good afternoon!

Let me share to you at this moment some notes regarding the ‘globalization’ experiment and the flawed policies that sustained it. There has been much ballyhoo about the global economy’s integration, over the last three (3) decades, as having been carved out supposedly by the Anglo-Saxon policy architects, using Thatcher & Reagan as the face for the ‘neo-liberal’ policy regime they installed.

Little do peoples across the globe, including experts who are so mired in their own parochial perspectives, know that the liberalization of country economies has a great deal to do with the Zaibatsu offensive. The West should better accept the facts: that their technocrats and policy shapers have run out of fresh ideas since the 1970s onwards (i.e. mentally bankrupt), a gap that they filled up by looking up to Japan and the NICs (newly industrializing countries) for copycat purposes.

Reaganomics, as neo-liberal policies of ‘privatization’ was dubbed (Thatcher of the UK preceded Reagan by a year), is as voodoo as one can get, seductive as any enchanting mantra-resonating principle can be, and was indeed potent in erasing the vestiges of the Regulated Economics doctrines that preceded the era. In the emerging markets, they were dubbed as ‘structural adjustment policies’ or SAPs, were imposed by the IMF-World Bank Group on debtor nations, and can be summed up as follows:

• Core principles: Privatization, Liberalization, Deregulation
• Subsidiary Principles: Tax reforms, trade liberalization, free floating exchange rates, diminished state subsidies for welfare, increased utility prices (revenue generation)
• Governance Principle: Decentralization (local government autonomy)

Such policy reform measures, as far as developing countries or DCs were concerned, came in as very harsh, cruel ‘austerity measures’ imposed by the IMF. We citizens from the ‘margins’ can never forget these measures, the pauperization that they effected, the dislocation of marginal producers, the decline of health services and rise of morbidity rates, and so on. In the Philippines, our very own capital goods industries were either delayed or un-implementable (such as integrated steel), as the money allocated for their purposes simply dried as dictated by the World Bank.

But there’s another set of policy architecture that wasn’t Anglo-Saxon, and didn’t receive their inspiration from the classicists (Smith, Ricardo) and the monetarists (Friedman, Hayek). This set of liberalization policies came from Zaibatsu country, and were crafted by Japanese technocrats. Not only policies, but also institutions were addressed by them, giving rise to the globalized economy that we have today.

Chief among those technocrats was Kenichi Ohmae, who in the 1980s was a think-tank executive. Further down the line were many other technocrats, who were organically linked to the Zaibatsus (landlord-industrialist-financier oligarchs), taking up cudgels for Ohmae.

Globalization, as one better realize, was never meant as any ‘win/win’ formula for nation-states in the arena of international trade as the liberal thinkers came to defend it later. It was outright a strategy to pre-position Zaibatsu corporate interests outside of Japan, notably the U.S. and European markets.

At that time of conceptualization, Zaibatsus have already efficaciously penetrated the Asian markets, and had leveraged their investments’ entry via aid and technical knowledge diffusion (including sponsoring Developing Country scholars in Japanese universities & special institutes). The old doctrine of ‘Asia Co-prosperity sphere’ was finally won, without firing a shot this time (unlike Imperial Japan era expansionism).

In the 1980s, the clamor for mooring investments and trade in the Western markets became ever stronger. The offensive tactic adapted was rather two-pronged, which made the new voodoo mantra even more potent:

• On the micro-level, permeate other markets with new concepts such as ‘Theory Z’ (decentralized authority, see W. Ouichi), total quality management or TQM, new tools for strategic planning, mergers and de-mergers. Till these days, the tools are considered sacrosanct in all sectors of society, including the Catholic Church that now uses ‘bottom-up’ planning added to strategic planning (my observations done in 2001-02 in a California diocese).

• On the macro-level, blend the Reagan-Thatcher ‘structural adjustments’ with the ‘globalization’ doctrine. The Zaibatsu technocrats fanned out across the globe, some of whom were positioned inside international bodies, and sweetened liberalization via a supposedly ‘win/win’ growth strategy for participating countries. This brilliant blending, which Western thinkers didn’t perceive at all as any subtle tactic by a predatory class (Zaibatsu), soon caught up fire and became buzz word for nigh three decades.

Before long, the Japan Inc. was being bandied across the globe as worth any country’s emulation. Southeast Asia and Korea went for it. Even the former presidents of the USA admired the Japanese Inc. doctrine of renewed private initiatives and shift from macro- to micro-economics as stabilization and growth measure. Bill Clinton of the USA spoke so fondly of ‘globalization’ like some captive fan of an economic icon, and moved to negotiate the NAFTA.

Little do unsuspecting, gullible peoples across the planet, more so the policy experts of the West, realize that the Japanese voodoo economics was largely intended to permit Zaibatsu investments to breed and morph inside their economies. Using merger and buy-in tactics, the Zaibatsu agents made it appear that their sponsors came in for benign purposes or so. If there is any group in the world today that is enjoying its last laugh, it is the Japanese militarists of the past, who finally saw the success of their nation’s offensives and the decline of the West via ‘organized chaos’.

Around 1994, the magic of the Japan Inc. began to cramble. Recession came, and before long many banks and investment houses were catching fire. That was the origin of the bankrupt and immoral Bush-Paulson ‘bailout’, which began with the ‘crisis management’ tactic in Japan to save ailing banks and financial institutions. Eventually, Zaibatsu technocrats were forced to revive the Western tool of ‘interest rates’ intervention, to the extent of bringing down interest rates to zero percent and sustaining it there for many years.

There also came that moment, in the late 1990s through 2006, when Zaibatsu financiers suddenly were so awash with funds (liquidities), at a time when Western economies reached low growths. The ‘yen initiative’ package was therefore conceptualized as another last-ditch voodoo tactic, which was implemented by loaning out large funds at zero or low interest, which Western financiers than re-loaned at profitable interest rates. Many such funds reached the USA& EU realty subprime mortgage markets, to recall. Again, note the seemingly benign nature of the financial gesture.

Just as when the realty markets were beginning to sneeze in America, the last voodoo measure was pulled out. The ‘crisis management’ was already folded up earlier, as Japan’s economic growth was propelled up anew by the Asian markets notably China’s. Just as when USA & EU needed the Zaibatsu loans very badly, and ditto for portfolio investments, they were pulled out, thus ensuring the crash of both economies.

Japananese voodoo economics is now bowing out, as the compass of policy initiatives at present is pointing to the reconstruction of macro-economic, New Deal type measures intended to attack problems both on short-term (bail out on productive sectors) and long-term basis (induce physical economy rather than predatory finance). But the withdrawal of the voodoo regime is not being done without witnessing its catastrophic results.

That’s surely tragic for the West or North. I wonder how Zaibatsus & technocrats perceive peoples outside their borders: whether they regard the latter as human beings worth co-partnering with, or as hungry lizards that must subsist on crumbs of investments & finance from Japan that have been buttressed by enormous tons of gold acquired through production and plunder of occupied lands, across the 2,000 years of Japan’s existence from kingdom to nation.

Honestly, I don’t know the answer. But if the Zaibatsus are receiving flaks from outside their borders, it wouldn’t be a surprise. There are no more borders for Zaibatsus by the way, just an entire planet with seamless web, cocooned in all corners by their corporate money.

[Philippines, 14 November 2008]

EMERGING MARKETS JOCKEY FOR IMF ECHELON, FRENCH OLIGARCHIC PUPPET GETS POST

July 3, 2011

EMERGING MARKETS JOCKEY FOR IMF ECHELON, FRENCH OLIGARCHIC PUPPET GETS POST

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Emerging markets are currently contesting for top posts in the Jurassic IMF. The downfall of Strauss-Khan, former managing director of the said bank, highlighted the deep crisis that has beset the bank lately, a crisis that threatens its very own legitimacy.

My position about the IMF was clear since the middle of last decade yet: abolish the bank, and let the member nations concur a new global financial architecture. The IMF was used by Western financier oligarchs to bleed the 3rd world to bone dry misery, it is a thug bank that clobbered member nations in order to fatten the purse of select financier families, and it continues to make members such as Greece suffer via forced austerity programs.

At any rate, just recently the French finance minister, Madame Legard, was selected to replace Strauss-Khan. What do we expect, that the evil Western financiers will permit the ‘Mandingo nations’ to get that juicy post?

Below is an update from the DevEx regarding the debates and actions by member nations regarding the Jurassic thug bank.

[Philippines, 03 July 2011]

From: DevEx – http://www.devex.com
In IMF Leadership Debate, Emerging Countries Renew Push for Greater Representation in International Forums
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the world’s top emerging economies, released on Wednesday (May 25) a joint statement where they dismissed as obsolete the existing convention of naming a European to the top job at the International Monetary Fund. The IMF directors from these countries stressed that the next IMF managing director should be the best candidate chosen through a merit-based and transparent process, not on the basis of nationality.
The joint statement is the latest, and perhaps most concrete and concerted, effort by emerging countries to assert their voice at IMF. Emerging and developing countries, particularly the so-called BRICS countries, have been pushing for more representation at IMF and a chance to have a candidate from their ranks lead the organization.
This push by emerging nations for a bigger say in IMF appears to be part of a broader campaign of middle-income countries for a more prominent role in the international community. China, for instance, continues to expand its assistance program in Africa, while India, Brazil and South Africa are also positioning themselves as “alternative” sources of development finance.
This campaign is not going unnoticed. The “traditional” donors, in particular, are beginning to recognize the changing global political and financial landscape: The United Kingdom recently indicated its intention to engage with emerging nations, while the United States has already entered into several partnerships with Brazil.
In IMF itself, emerging nations have been “victorious” in having European countries agree to cede some of their seats in the fund’s executive board in their favor. This deal, sealed in October 2010, increased the emerging countries’ influence and voting power in the board, but they are still less influential than industrial countries, particularly the United States. Whether this increased clout will contribute to their campaign to end Europe’s dominance of IMF remains to be seen.

KATE DISCOVERS GRACE KELLY EXTERMINATED BY ROYALTY TOO!

May 12, 2011

KATE DISCOVERS GRACE KELLY EXTERMINATED BY ROYALTY TOO!

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good evening from Manila!

Let me continue with the Princess Kate discoveries of shadowy engagements and profane rituals by the Anglo-European royalty & elite cronies. As Kate will unwind the true causes behind the death of Diana—a death done in execution of an extermination order from ‘higher ups’—she will also most likely uncover the truth behind the death of Grace Kelly who was married to Rainier of Monaco royalty.

The majestic Grace is a narrative akin to Cinderella. The dreamy Cinderella of America who fantasized about marrying a prince one day, indeed was lifted off her feet to kingdom come by a prince, and a crown prince at that! So the very feminine beau from America turned into a majestic crowned royal person overnight, and the rest was history.

Then she was integrated into the circles of dirty & demonic elites of Europe, and she found out it was too late to quit. She knew that Bernard, of the Monaco royal family, was initiator and prime mover of the secretive elite club Bilderberger Group. This shadowy club met once a year to confer about the state of affairs of the world, and imposed tasks upon the members that should be strictly complied with.

Bernard’s task, as far as we can see his role in the hierarchy of evil in the planet, is to get the select leaders of nations into a seemingly loose formation. That formation will then meet annually, pass resolutions of sorts, and commit to implement them. The core leaders are actually members of the Committee of 300 or C300, the hierarchy of evil that was exposed by John Coleman, former British MI6 spy, as being behind the many woes and sorrows of the planet today.

If I pick the pattern right, a Holy Trinity of Father-Son-Mother/Spirit comprises a triad of evil in the C300 and a possibly tight Order of Luciferans. Princess Kate will discover the triad quite quickly, by inducting her inferences from the networks of cronies of her husband’s family. Bernard is the Son-equivalent in the hierarchy, while Queen Elizabeth is the Mother/Spirit equivalent. The Mother calls the shots, and so it would be best for the Son to always coordinate with the Mother whatever moves there are to be made in the Bilderberger and subsidiary formations such as the Trilateral Commission or TLC.

Well, it was apparent that Bernard could have overstepped his functions. At some juncture, he was also found to have been excessively greedy, whatever that means. Greed has got to do with getting his shares in the pies of investments, gold, drug deals, and more. Bernard could have lionized shares too much, and lionized influence too on the Bilderberger participants as his financial leverage grew meteorically.

Then came that tragic death of Grace, and there can be no denying that the Monaco royalty’s greed has to do with it. Punitive action was exercised with lightning speed of sweeping execution, and so the action came by exterminating the seemingly spotless Grace.

And so the world’s folks grieved for the beloved Cinderella, made ignorant as they were by the lies and cover ups. Folks can be deceived, but not a smart lady like Kate who will most likely stumble upon this gory fact.

[Philippines, 05 May 2011]
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PHILIPPINE BANKS HEALTHY FOR THE BIG CHALLENGES AHEAD

March 25, 2011

PHILIPPINE BANKS HEALTHY FOR THE BIG CHALLENGES AHEAD

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good day to you fellow global citizens!

The world reels anarchic over the geological ramblings in Japan-New Zealand-China and the tumult of the Arab peoples. These events cast veils on the clarity of the economic boom now going on in Asia, and so let me be among those who will project the boom side every now and then. Among such good news is the readiness of Asian banks for the bigger economic battles ahead, a trend that includes the Philippines’ banks.

Do recall that the Asian financial meltdown came in ’97, triggering recessions, mass lay-offs, manufacturing slumps, and heightened poverty. The policy environment then was one of free trade in the movements of finance and money across borders, which enticed portfolio capital to swamp Asia. Regulators were therefore caught off guard by the currency attacks fomented by the Anglo-European oligarchs fronted by the Quantum Group of George Soros.

Asia’s banks, monetary authorities, and financial stakeholders all learned precious lessons from that economic catastrophe. Short of establishing capital and monetary controls (such as what Mahathir did for Malaysia), Asian banks did institute quasi-regulatory reforms such as to raise banks’ reserve requirements, mop up excess liquidities when situation demands so, and finally fix caps on the asset requirements for banks.

The reforms instituted across the last fourteen (14) years since the meltdown paid off very handsomely for the commercial and universal banks in particular, as well as for strengthening central banks. It is important to ensure stabilization mechanisms in the said banks first of all, a pattern that will snowball in the thrift banks and rural banks.

As far as the Philippine republic is concerned, the latest situational reports do indicate very clearly the compass of a healthy banking overall. Total aggregate assets of commercial & universal banks exceeded P6 Trillions, deposits breached the P2.5 Trillions, and trust funds skyrocketed to past the P4 Trillion mark. Needless to say, our banks here are prepared for the big challenges, inclusive of financing big ticket Private-Public Partnership or PPP projects.

The same banks are very much prepared too for the latest regulatory requirements imposed by the BIS or Bank for International Settlements. The BIS adjustments are actually coming late in the day, as the said bank has been too Euro-centric for a long time. Were it not for the fiasco of the USA and European banks from 2007 through 2010, the BIS couldn’t have acted appropriately.

Western banks ought to admit it that they are learning the new adjustments from their Asian counterparts. And the lessons being shared by the Asian banks are the ones being considered strongly today by the BIS itself, which as one can see has been commending Asia’s central bank bosses for jobs well done in their respective backyards.

There are more reforms that must be instituted however, which means that the earlier reforms should only be the start of a series of long-term changes in the banking and monetary systems. I subscribe to a global effort to ban banks from participating in portfolio investments so as not to repeat the catastrophe that hit certain big US banks that disappeared overnight during the height of the recent Great Recession there.

The more efficacious management of bankruptcies should also be put into order. We are right now witnessing a bank run in the Bangko Filipino, which seems to repeat old patterns. More stringent regulations ought to be put into place, as it is getting tiresome now to see bank runs every now and then.

Essential corporate governance reforms are among those that need to be accelerated in the banking and monetary systems. Bank mismanagements and hostile take-over of smaller banks by bigger ones are spooky phenomena within the banking community, which pose as challenges to regulators.

Let the banks and regulators keep tab of the gaps in the system and address them accordingly. Meantime, with a healthy banking situation now in place, banks can clearly become stakeholders in creating the boom situation in the Philippines, ASEAN, and the whole of Asia.

[Philippines, 17 March 2011]

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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs anytime!

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ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Mixed Blends Blogs:
@MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com
@FRIENDSTER: http://erleargonza.blog.friendster.com
@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon