The chaos over the rescue of Cyprus – under which insured bank deposits were initially threatened but have been reprieved – has raised questions about whether depositors in other eurozone countries will feel safe.
But I wonder if the bigger long-term effect will be on offshore banking centres in general, rather than the eurozone. After all, Cyprus shows that a small financial centre that becomes overwhelmed by financial difficulties cannot stand behind a banking system several times the size of its economy. Read more
Plenty of risk officers and strategy directors must be dreading the order from the boardroom: “We need a full report on the impact of eurozone break-up – and how we will deal with it – by tomorrow’s emergency meeting.”
Wednesday’s FT analysis of how, if at all, businesses are preparing for disintegration of the currency area is fascinating. But the comments seem to me to alternate between despair (“There is no blueprint for anything. You do discuss certain scenarios with customers, but it is like poking around in the fog”) and complacency (“Treasurers in multinationals remain generally positive about their ability to weather the systemic fallout from any European exit”). Read more
Even Europhile economists must have pricked up their ears at the offer of £250,000 to the person who comes up with the best plan for winding up the euro. Only the Nobel offers a more valuable bounty to the dismal scientists.
But whatever you think of the goal, is the Wolfson Economics Prize – offered by Lord Wolfson, the youthful, Eurosceptic, Conservative chief executive of Next, the UK retailer – the best way to achieve it? These days, bright business ideas often emerge through collaboration, rather than competition. Read more