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Opinion

Global financial crisis: Did they get their house in order?

Front End looks back 10 years, on the views of the chief executives of 11 big banks interviewed in the wake of the banking crisis.

Euromoney-OFC-2008

Ten years ago, as Euromoney was writing its 2008 jumbo issue for the World Bank/IMF meetings, it was clear that the global banking industry was in crisis. Lehman Brothers had collapsed, Merrill Lynch was rescued at the last minute. What could the industry do to get its house in order, we wondered, before outside influences did the job for them?

We spoke to the chief executives of 11 big international banks, from a mixture of Europe, North America and Asia – and it is intriguing to revisit the articles a decade later.

Strangely enough, the chief executives of the likes of UBS, RBS and Bank of America were unavailable to talk to us at the time. 

Vikram Pandit, who had just taken on a poisoned chalice at Citi, was available. As was Josef Ackermann, not just in his role as chief executive of Deutsche Bank, but also as head of the Institute of International Finance, which was leading the industry response to the crisis. 

Of the 11 CEOs interviewed, only one is still in office – Frédéric Oudéa. He had taken the reins at Société Générale just three months earlier, after the Kerviel rogue trader losses had brought down Daniel Bouton.


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