The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Perennial big bank expansion risks emerging again

Banking Day reports:

"Former ANZ Bank CEO John McFarlane has warned that successful Asian growth by an Australian bank will require a big-hit acquisition.

In a speech to FinSIA, reported in The Australian, McFarlane said banks could not generate strong growth from local low-risk opportunities.

But Asian growth remain ''difficult'', he was reported as saying.

"Planting flags will have no result ... You have to buy a domestic leadership position in those markets. But you have to buy when Australia is strong and Asia is weak, and we have never had that."

Mr McFarlane reportedly also said that ''Asia is cyclical'' and that an Australian bank would eventually get the opportunity to buy a major asset there.

Under McFarlane's successor, Mike Smith, ANZ has made Asian growth a centrepiece of its strategy."