Quotes of the month

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"They would overly emphasize the 120% debt-to-GDP ratio as a means to squeeze the private sector to accept a lower interest rate on their future claims. They also kept hidden throughout the negotiations the amount of money they were going to put into the Greek rescue package"

Charles Dallara, managing director of the IIF, takes issue with the stance of the IMF during Greek debt negotiations
(see  Charles Dallara: The ultimate insider opens up)


"For senior secured loans this is a new dawn. The banks will become increasingly disintermediated. It will happen because it has to. It is economically essential"

Marino Valensise of Baring Asset Management says fund managers are stepping in where banks can no longer tread
(see  Shackled banks face up to disintermediation threat)


"Banks are seeing their turf being attacked from multiple directions. Mobile network operators, supermarkets, department stores, payment platforms, new joint ventures and start-ups. Being a traditional bank is not a happy place to be right now"

Samantha Ghiotti, of consultancy Anthemia, explains why technology is the biggest threat to retail banks
(see  Technology take-off threatens bank foundations)

"In the last 10 years in the US, no one from academia foretold the crisis. I come from academia, and that’s why I don’t hire academics. First, they are fundamentalists – they are not pragmatic people. And second they don’t like the real world"

Juan Carlos Echeverry, former Colombian finance minister. He is rumoured to be taking a new post in... academia
(see  Colombia: Echeverry leaves his post all guns blazing)


"They move from bank to bank and take 30 days’ vacation. If you want to make a lot of money you need to be an entrepreneur. You need to be obsessive where you invest, stay at your company for ever – not even consider changing your job"

André Esteves, head of BTG Pactual, criticizes the Wall Street compensation culture
(see  BTG Pactual: Esteves brings business back into banking)


"In today’s world, there is no choice but to build a bullet-proof compliance and anti-money-laundering process. A bank will not survive without one; you simply have to do it, whether it is easy or not to implement"

As Standard Chartered and HSBC get hit with big fines, it’s even tougher for banks based in the Middle East such as Kuwait’s Gulf Bank, of which Michel Accad is chief executive
(see  Middle East CEO roundtable: Battle-hardened bank chiefs see hope for better times)


"The government’s biggest mistake has been the lack of dialogue. The government can be flexible. If it is not, then the protest movement will get stronger"

Is Alexei Kudrin a prime minister-in-waiting for Russia?
(see  Alexei Kudrin: Russia's leader in waiting? )


"Find a hole, make an investment. Telecoms, real estate, tourism, manufacturing, infrastructure, financial services, logistics. These are all industries that should see a huge influx in foreign investment, if it all goes to plan"

Thura Soe-Paing of AMIP, a Myanmar-based private equity fund, on the opportunities opening up in the country
(see  Can Myanmar’s military recruit an army of investors? )