Asian brokers: Scotsman with a point of view
Although on holiday, Jim Walker of Crédit Lyonnais agreed to talk to Euromoney. When told that he was the top-rated economist in our survey by a large margin, he groaned half-heartedly and said: "Oh, God." Walker attributes his success to his being Scottish and having a beard.
He moved to Asia in 1990, joining Peregrine after having worked at Royal Bank of Scotland. In 1991 he switched to Crédit Lyonnais. Originally in Hong Kong, he is now based in Singapore. He is not afraid to speak his mind, and was severely rebuked by Thai officials in 1995 when he warned that Thailand was becoming over-reliant on short-term capital inflows. Like others nominated in our survey, Walker was keen to emphasize the team effort behind his work, using "we" instead of "I".
Walker describes his approach as "trying to analyze the macro picture from a different perspective. We're certainly not mainstream. We examine relative prices, the flexibility in prices of capital and labour, and look at exchange rates to see if the right signals are being sent to the market.