Craven Haven

On Wednesday night, Switzerland became toast. Not in the physical sense, of course. The glaciers, snow-capped mountains and ski slopes are still there, the dairy sector is still making chocolate, while the giant factories along the Rhine churn out chemicals and pharmaceuticals. But the banking industry, the heart of the country’s economy, has just been neutered. Switzerland, as an “offshore” […]

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The next leg down

The action in global equity markets this week was sickeningly familiar. Rarely has the golden rule of ‘buy the rumour, sell the fact’ been as consistently adhered to as during the course of the current crisis. Throughout 2008 and now into 2009, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury have unveiled a string of rescue operations, new programmes and plans of […]

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Into the abyss

For the last four months, Israel has had no government, and hence no economic policy. With its usual anti-Semitic zeal, the world has doggedly refused to go into recess during this period of Israel’s self-imposed paralysis. Instead, it has plunged into severe recession. How severe is impossible to convey in words, because the entire inventory of both professional terms and […]

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GM and IBM

There would seem to be little in common between GM, the fallen idol of American industrial prowess, and IBM, the still proud symbol of American technological prowess. Indeed, there could hardly be a greater contrast than General Motor’s decades of gradual decline, punctuated by repeated failures of efforts to ‘re-invent’ itself, and IBM’s dramatic recovery from downward spiral in the […]

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