Archive for January 10th, 2018

25 years ago: When Credit Suisse stole a march on its larger rival UBS

January 10, 2018

Interesting bit of banking history from Switzerland:

UBS was so sure it had won that it had celebratory champagne cooling. But then Credit Suisse stole a march on its larger rival – a victory which set up today’s face-off between the two Swiss banking giants. 

Twenty-five years ago, Credit Suisse took over Volksbank, then Switzerland’s fourth-largest bank. The smaller lender was vulnerable after becoming ensnared in the collapse of the housing bubble in the 1990s. 

The news followed an artful and bitter takeover battle between two titans, which reads to their rivalry today. Volksbank was also the starting shot of a years-long period of consolidation among Swiss banks, a full five years before UBS’ historic mega-deal with Swiss Bank Corp., as finews.asia reported last month.

Both UBS’ and Credit Suisse’s global standing in private banking and investment banking have their roots in the shake-out to hit Swiss banking in the 1990s.

 

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Modern economics — an intellectual game without practical relevance

January 10, 2018

RWER Blog points to  this interesting piece written by Prof Mark Blaug in 1997.

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Apart from RBI, this is another quasi-central bank in India: State Bank of Sikkim!

January 10, 2018

I had no idea about this and really excited to read this piece by Sunil Pradhan. The piece is how demonetisation led to breach of unique autonomy granted by Govt of India to State of Sikkim.

In the process, he informs us about how the monetary relations between Union Government and Sikkim are so very different compared to other states. The State of Sikkim enjoys far more monetary autonomy compared to other States and has its own quasi-central ban: State Bank of Sikkim. Barring printing notes, it does central banking functions like managing the Treasury operations of the State of Sikkim. It is also a commercial bank which has branches in the State. Having said that, it is the only commercial bank which is not regulated by the RBI.

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A primer on biometrics and discussion on usefulness of Aadhaar…

January 10, 2018

As humans we should be weary of technology/intervention which tries to rectify many ills with one solution. More so, if State is involved in such a solution. Aadhaar which was meant to be an identity card (why not call it just Pehchaan card meaning identity) has been under lot of fire lately as numbers have been leaked with very little investment.

India Spend points to this interesting set of papers on biometrics and Aadhaar. The papers are written by staff members  of IDRBT, an organisation established by RBI. Infact, there are series of papers on technology and banking by the institute which should be a decent read.

Indiaspend sums the research as:

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West Bengal’s Begunkodor no longer a haunted railway station

January 10, 2018

Anything to do with railways is mostly interesting. And this story of a haunted railway station in Bengal in a place called Begunkodor is quite something.

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