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quarta-feira, dezembro 31, 2008

O luxo bebe-se quente!

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Artigo nosso sobre o consumo de café, ou de como este passou de uma mera rotina para algo de mais conspícuo!

http://diarioeconomico.sapo.pt/edicion/diarioeconomico/opinion/columnistas/pt/desarrollo/1195661.html

Bom fim de ano!

Paulo Gonçalves Marcos

www.antonuco.blogspot.com

segunda-feira, dezembro 29, 2008

Single family home prices inflation adjusted

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Os preços das casas unifamiliares, ajustados da inflação, estão agora nos Estados Unidos ao nível do ano 2000. E a taxa de queda dos preços tem vindo a ser crescente, mês após mês nos últimos seis.

E Portugal?

quarta-feira, dezembro 24, 2008

O aumento de capital da CGD tem uma explicação simples...

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Foi o meu estimado amigo Eugénio Rosa, economista também, deputado independente do PCP, meu ex-aluno, que me chamou a atenção para o óbvio: o aumento de capital da CGD com o fito anunciado de tapar o buraco do BPN.

Ora como é sabido o buraco do BPN vai em cerca de 1.000 milhões (que raio de ideia de Miguel Cadilhe vir pedir um empréstimo do Estado de apenas 650 milhões...afinal nacionalizando sai mais caro...!), o que poderia ser acomodado pelos lucros da Caixa.

Mas acontece que um aumento de capital implicará aumento da dívida pública mas não altera o valor do déficite público...enquanto que uma perda de dividendos teria um impacto sobre o dito déficite...simples...troca-se déficite por aumento da dívida pública..

Lembro-me que o meu colego Rui, enquanto secretário de Estado do Eng. Guterres inventou este truque para os hospitais, com a sua passagem a entidades empresariais públicas! O Estado fez uma dotação inicial de capital, destinada a acomodar os prejuízos dos primeiros dois ou três anos, tirando os seus déficites de exploração da órbita do Orcamento Geral do Estado...!

quinta-feira, dezembro 18, 2008

Se os preços das casas continuarem a cair...

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Imaginem que os preços das casas em Portugal vão continuar a cair...que depois de terem caído já 5% este ano (até finais de Setembro de 2008) a queda vai continuar ao longo de 2009.

Afinal com uma recessão económica, não necessariamente profunda, de cariz duradouro (3 ou 4 trimestres consecutivos, por exemplo), que entre por meados de 2009 a dentro, teremos um aumento do desemprego.

Ninguém no seu perfeito juízo acredita na taxa oficial de desemprego do governo propaganda PS...esta nas está nas imediações de 7% mas em pouco mais de 10% como o estudo do economista Eugénio Rosa o demonstra. Poderá subir até mais 2 pontos percentuais nos próximos doze meses.

Mas o desemprego, ou a ameaça dele, condiciona os comportamentos de compra (as intenções de aquisição) dos bens duradouros. Mais que o rendimento disponível actual, é a expectativa (o valor esperado futuro) do rendimento futuro que condiciona os consumos actuais. Milton Friedman demonstrou-o há mais de quarenta anos (e esqueça o facto de ele ser o ideólogo da escola de Chicago; antes disso foi o mais notável economista da sua geração e por isso recebeu o Prémio Novel da Economia).

Menos procura (e o facto das taxas euribor estarem a baixar nada adianta, porque as pessoas perceberam quão voláteis estas são...) implicará que os preços vão cair mais...

Imaginem um cenário moderamente razoável, em que os preços das casas caem mais 5 a 10% nos próximos meses. Com o desemprego a aumentar (e com o incrível número de divórcios, outra grande machadada na capacidade dos portugueses honrarem os seus compromissos financeiros).

O valor das casas a cair. Os incumprimentos dos créditos à habitação a aumentarem. O que pensam os leitores que irá acontecer aos bancos médios, operantes em Portugal, que se especializaram historicamente nos mercados do crédito à habitação e à construção?...Alvíssaras a quem nos disser...

quarta-feira, dezembro 17, 2008

Preço das casas caiu quase 5% em Portugal....

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O preço das casas em Portugal recuou 4,8% no terceiro trimestre do ano, quando comparado com igual período do ano passado. Esta é uma das conclusões do estudo elaborado pela Knigh Frank, representada em Portugal pela Worx.

New York state plans soft drinks "obesity tax"

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Move would help close $13.3b deficit.
The potential revenue from the proposed tax is $400m.

segunda-feira, dezembro 15, 2008

50bM Wall Street´s Fraud...

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Um antigo presidente do Nasdax faliu na sexta feira e reconheceu que a sua companhia era uma fraude piramidal (Ponzi scheme). Com apenas 25 clientes directos (bancos, gestoras de fundos,...) os clientes indirectos seriam alguns milhares, espalhados nos Eua, União Europeia e Suiça.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article5344059.ece

domingo, dezembro 14, 2008

Os craques antes da partida


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51º Grande Prémio do Natal, uma das mais antigas corridas de estrada em Portugal. 10 km com partida logo pela manhã.

Um quarteto que prometia muito ...e cumpriu!

segunda-feira, dezembro 08, 2008

Meia Maratona: a primeira!

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Ontem corri a minha primeira Meia Maratona. Foram 13 semanas de treinos duros!

www.run4f.blogspot.com

quinta-feira, dezembro 04, 2008

Insight: a post bubble world

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The textbooks have little to say about post-bubble economies. That makes the current prognosis all the more problematic. A profusion of asset bubbles has burst around the world – from property and credit to commodities and emerging market equities. That’s an especially rude awakening for a global economy that has become dependent on the very bubbles that are now imploding. It is as if the world has suddenly been turned inside out.

The American consumer is a case in point. Real personal consumption expenditures are on track for rare back-to-back quarterly declines in the second half of 2008, at roughly a 3.5 per cent average annual rate. Since 1950 there have been only four instances when real consumer demand fell for two consecutive quarters. Declines will exceed 3 per cent in both quarters for the first time. Never before has there been such an extraordinary capitulation of the American consumer.

O BCE desceu as taxas directoras em 0,75% mas as taxas euribor...

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Em reunião hoje ao final da manhã o Banco Central Europeu baixou as suas taxas directoras em 0,75%, o maior corte alguma vez realizado na sua história.

A magnitude do corte não supreendeu o Antonuco, que já a antecipara várias vezes, ao contrário da maior parte dos analistas que apostam num corte menos agressivo.

Mas atente-se que as taxas Euribor, as mais importantes para as prestações do Crédito Habitação das famílias portuguesas, vão demorar algumas semanas, na melhor hipótese, a acompanharem completamente esta descida de hoje...

quarta-feira, dezembro 03, 2008

O tempo da Permissão e da Sustentabilidade...no DE de hoje

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O tempo da permissão e da sustentabilidade

Os detentores das marcas vão ter que se aproximar dos clientes através de patrocínios e de outras acções de marketing em cooperação.

Paulo Gonçalves Marcos

Queremos partilhar com os leitores algumas reflexões sobre os temas da permissão e da sustentabilidade no marketing empresarial, tomando como ponto de partida o dos patrocínios. Estes são apenas uma pequena parte (menos de 10%) do total investido em comunicação. Para crescerem, os múltiplos operadores no mercado dos patrocínios têm que demonstrar o poder de influenciarem o comportamento do simpatizante, do consumidor e do cliente. Se os benefícios tangíveis e intangíveis não forem mensuráveis, a actividade de patrocínios corre o risco de desaparecer no decurso da crise económica que se avizinha.

(continua...ver link para Diário Económico)

sexta-feira, novembro 28, 2008

O governador tem razão!

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A pedido de muitos leitores, aqui segue a transcrição do nosso artigo da última semana no Diário Económico. E ainda os comentários de alguns dos muitos leitores.


--------------------------

O Governador tem razão!

Por mais competência e idoneidade que tenham os reguladores e seus quadros, fraudes vão continuar a existir. É da natureza humana…

Paulo Gonçalves Marcos

As últimas semanas têm sido pródigas em ataques ao Banco de Portugal e ao seu Governador, a propósito das fraudes alegadamente verificadas no Banco Português de Negócios. Como se o Regulador e Supervisor do Sector Bancário fosse um cúmplice dos alegados vilões que dirigiram o banco de negócios em questão. Não podemos estar mais em desacordo com esta visão. Em nosso entender o Banco de Portugal tem estado à altura dos acontecimentos. A Supervisão funcionou. E tem impedido que outros potenciais casos tenham surgido no mercado português. A falência de bancos é uma coisa relativamente comum. Aliás, a falência de empresas é uma realidade insofismável de qualquer economia de mercado: pune quem não conseguir captar e fidelizar clientes. Mesmo a falência fraudulenta, quiçá sonante de grandes bancos é, no panorama internacional, menos que rara. Sem querer entediar o leitor, vale a pena relembrar algumas. Aqui ao lado, em Espanha, o caso Banesto. Conde, o empresário mais admirado, à época, pelos espanhóis, em quem os conservadores do país vizinho depositavam grandes esperanças de rivalizar com o socialista primeiro-ministro Filipe Gonzalez, liderou a fraude, cometida curtos meses após um aumento de capital de 700 milhões de euros (M€), intermediado pelo sóbrio e sólido J.P. Morgan (que haveria de subscrever, em simultâneo, para um fundo seu, 175 M€, tornando-se no maior accionista do Banesto!). O buraco, detectado pelo Banco de Espanha, foi de 4.000 M€. Poderíamos continuar a lista enumerando casos espectaculares em que a não existência de controlos e de sistemas de cumprimento eficazes, tornaram possíveis a falência do mais que centenário Barings Bank (obra de Nick Leeson) em 1995 com uma perda superior a 1.200 M€; a perda de 800 M€ do Daiwa Bank (1995) no Japão; outra perda de 5.000 M€ na Société General, em França, no início de 2008; pelo meio outras que deram brado à época: Amaranth Advisors, um ‘hedge fund’ que especulava contra o preço futuro dos contratos do gás (2006) ou o Bank of Credit and Commerce Internacional (1991) onde os príncipes árabes se viram chamuscados. Portanto, o caso BPN é um fenómeno não exclusivamente português, incidindo também em praças e mercados financeiros tidos como os mais sofisticados e regulados do mundo. A existência de fraudes, no sistema financeiro ou noutros (Enron, Parmalat,etc), é normalmente função de um triângulo pernicioso: oportunidade detectada + pressão (para apresentar resultados) + racionalização (auto explicação para o comportamento desviante). A ganância também pode causar erosão nos valores éticos individuais e facilitar a racionalização em termos que seriam inaceitáveis. Contudo, muitos dos prevaricadores são influenciados pelo meio envolvente, mormente por colegas e pela cultura da empresa. Pelo que estas devem ter políticas éticas bem explícitas. Permanentemente zeladas pela Gestão de Topo. O caso BPN ilustra apenas a falha generalizada do estabelecimento de um conjunto de Políticas e Procedimentos de Ética de negócios e a forma mitigada como Valores Éticos eram guião da orientação profissional. Por isso, não são os sessenta técnicos do Banco de Portugal afectos à Supervisão Prudencial que são poucos. Parece-nos que o número ou a qualidade destes e do seu trabalho (lendária no mercado português, pela positiva, atente-se) são adequados e comparam bem com as práticas internacionais, mais a mais considerando o pequeno número de instituições sedeadas em Portugal. Quiçá a ausência de experiência em Banca Comercial ou de Investimento de quadros e dirigentes do Banco de Portugal possa ser uma pequena desvantagem relativa. Quiçá, igualmente, a opção do Banco de Portugal em querer regular coisas bem menores, como campanhas publicitárias ou os folhetos dos produtos financeiros, tenha desviado a atenção e a energia da gestão de topo e dos quadros do Regulador. Mas isso não invalida dizer que o Banco de Portugal e o seu Governador não são prevaricadores; o número de casos e incidências verificados no mercado português é mínimo e sem a gravidade que outros mercados experimentaram. E que a actuação do Banco e do seu Governador foi correcta do ponto de vista técnico. Enquanto árbitro, mas não jogador. Não lhes competia escolher os bancos vencedores no jogo do mercado. E por mais competência e idoneidade que tenham os reguladores e seus quadros, fraudes vão continuar a existir. É da natureza humana…Basta que o triângulo pernicioso esteja presente.

www.antonuco.blogspot.com
____

Paulo Gonçalves Marcos, Economista, gestor e professor universitário

Comentários
Paulo Curto de Sousa (curtodesousa@gmail.com)
Estranho é que já se falava antes do verão da situação complicada do BPN e, aparentemente, só agora se fez alguma coisa. Ter-se-á aproveitado o rebentamento da "bolha do subprime" para justificar a actuação? Abraços
Inês Gil Forte
Criticar o que é nosso e esquecermos o que é dos outros está no nosso sangue de Portugueses e é assim em muito do que nos envolve, sempre que algo nos acontece é sempre pior que da fronteira para fora. Aliás, como mera observadora destas questões...acho que o comum dos mortais em Portugal nem se lembra ou nem sequer sabe do que se passa lá fora, por isso Paulo, acho importante relembrar, lembrar ou contar como é e o que se passa no resto do Mundo, que nós tantas vezes tentamos esquecer! Ética...uiii...depende de cada um a definição de ética nestas questões e quais os pontos a ter em conta e quais se esquecem! Uma vez mais...parabéns pela coluna.
Paulo Lage (paulo.d.lage@gmail,com)
Caro Paulo Marcos, O problema , não reside na capacidade de regulação do Banco de Portugal, mas na capacidade de actuação celere e isenta do nosso sistema judicial. No caso Banesto , o Empresario Mario Conde foi julgado, condenado e preso. Aqui , tenho as minhas duvidas que algum dos alegados prevaricadores " vá dentro" !! O que também não entendi, como simples contribuinte, foi a razão da nacionalização do BPN. A situação foi criada por alegadas fraudes e negocios ilicitos , não como resultado da crise financeira. Será que os estado quer segurar os seus investimentos no BPN? Será que alguma classe politica esta envolvida? Se de nada disto se trata porque, numa logica identica, o governo não nacionaliza as Pirites Alentejanas? O precedente foi aberto . E agora? Expliquem-se!! Parabens pelo artigo!
vg
Pois caro Paulo,o que o governador fez foi ignorar alertas que lhe foram enviados.E isso não é uma questão de Sherlock Holmes ,mas de sair do torpor em que funciona
Antonio Moreira
O Banco de Portugal não é o Polícia do Mercado. Fraudes são inevitáveis. Falta saber se deveria ter actuado mais incisivamente quando nos últimos anos o BPN se alcandorou a um plano de expansão desenfreado.
Sofia Conde Maior
Bem, é uma opinião que vai contra quase tudo o que foi escrito por todos os outros comentadores...apesar de a lógica ser inatacável, ainda custa a engolir...
Fenix
Afinal, para que serve esta instituição? Valerá a pena ser mantida, se a sua actuação é assim tão limitada, e tão ronceira?
NapoLeão
O prof. PG Marcos deve ter acabado de aterrar na Portela ! Percebe-se que economista "defenda" economista. Por quem sois...
Luís Brites (ljbrites@gmail.com)
Caro Paulo, parabéns pelo artigo, de facto tudo está na natureza humana e quer gostemos mais ou menos da actuação (ou da celeridade da mesma) do Governador do BdP é um facto que em todo o mundo surgem estes problemas, trata-se de uma questão de (falta de) ética e ganância desmesurada..sobretudo deverá ser feita uma aprendizagem para não se repetirem (ou tentar que) estes desastres de graves consequências na confiança do mercado e quiçá no bolso de quem confia no mesmo, a questão levantada anteriormente pelo Paulo Lage é particularmente importante ou seja, os eventuais "prevaricadores" o que lhes irá acontecer em termos necessariamente punitivos se se provarem de facto (e a tempo) todos os graves indícios já conhecidos?
Legru
Se desde 2002 eram conhecidas as irregularidades no BPN porque é que BdP não actuou até agora? - E vou mais longe: Até que ponto foi Miguel Cadilhe a fazer aquilo que caberia ao BdP fazer, isto é, pedir uma auditoria (que deveria ser feita em devido tempo pelo BdP)e, em consequência desta, apresentar denúncia na PGR. Por último lembro a todos os meus colegas contribuintes que estamos a pagar a 1800 funcionários do BdP que, ao que parece nada fazem.
Leandro Coutinho (L_Coutinhofr@Yahoo.fr)
Até que enfim que aparece alguém com uma visão/análise lúcida sobre o que é a supervisão bancária e o que o BdP pode e não pode fazer dentro do enquadramento que a mesma tem.. Eleger o governador do BdP como bode expiatório tem sido a norma por parte de gente que não sabe sequer enumerar as funções do banco Central tal como são listadas numa qualquer sebenta da cadeira de Introdução á Economia no 1º ano da faculdade.. Aconselha-se os nossos opinativos personagens que invertam a sua metodologia.. Primeiro desenvolvam conhecimento e depois produzam análises.. (é que, entre nós, em geral, passa-se o contrário)..
João Costa Pereira (costapereira.joao@gmail.com)
Caro Paulo, Concordo com tudo. Fraudes vão sempre existir e cabe antes de mais à forma de governação das sociedades, ao seu controlo interno e de compliance, assegurar a rapida detecção de situações irregulares e a sua eliminação. Mas algo correu mal no BP. Este existe precisamente para os casos em que se verifica num Banco a total incapacidade para suprir por sí uma inconformidade. O que critico no BP é o facto de isto não ser caso novo. É o facto de teram levado anos a actuar quando em todo o sector financeiro (desde 2002 pelo menos) que se comentava que "aquilo lá no BPN é uma pouca vergonha". E fica a impressão (para não dizer certeza) que só agiram porque a bomba rebentou-lhes em cima e foram obrigados a isso.
LL
E pronto, com o argumento de que problemas de supervisão existem noutras paragens, está lavada a culpa do nosso Banco de Portugal! Independentemente dos casos referidos e da sua diferença na natureza, indícios e duração da prevaricação, não são falhas alheias que desculpam a incúria do BdP. Seguindo esse raciocícnio, a natureza humana é como é, vão sempre existir fraudes, o supervisor não as vai detectar... concluindo: não vale a pena supervisionar. Então acabe-se com a supervisão, pois se esta funciona como um tigre de papel, já todos os supervisionados perceberam que o BdP é verbo de encher. Haverá certamente lugar para os 1700 excedentários, pois os 60 da supervisão nada fazem e os otros produzem umas informações inúteis que o país já recebe de várias entidades externas, que até são hitoricamente mais credíveis nas suas previsões. Uma última palavra para os prevaricadores: são sem dúvida os primeiros culpados de toda a situação. Se o polícia que assobia para o lado é incompetente e deve ser demitido, o ladrão é criminosos e deve ser preso. Já que o polícia BdP nada fez que o façam os lesados (accionistas).
JR (jralha59@gmail.com)
Abaixo a "bófia", vivam os ladrões......!!! Os complexos revolucionários continuam a existir. Pelo que se tem lido e ouvido, até parece que quem conduziu o BPN para a "falência".......... foi o Banco de Portugal. Opiniões de técnicos qualificados e experientes como é o caso do autor do artigo, são um excelente contributo para o esclarecimento dos leigos, que somos quase todos.
JBG
A situação verificada com o G.B.P. e os casos actuais que têm vindo a público, demonstra que nem todos os sistemas são perfeitos e, consequentemente, falíveis. Parece-me evidente o aparato desta situação é um resultado de um sem número de situações políticas que já vêm de trás e cujas desconfianças estão a culminar, agora de um modo mais energético. Ainda voltando a outra questão, na minha opinião pessoal, no caso do BPN, a nacionalização parece ter sido apressada por algo que não sabemos. Hoje, como por magia, cerca de 3 semanas depois, já ninguém fala no caso (entenda-se alguém como C.Social e órgão de pressão)... Estranho não? Mas em relação ao artigo, concordo inteiramente com a análise e confronto da Técnica com a Ética, e que, felizmente e aparentemente, são poucos os casos que escapam ao regulador... No entanto, custa saber que, sendo tão poucos os bancos regulados, possam escapar alguns assim de um modo aparentemente tão fácil. As consequências de situações como as que vieram a público do BCP e BPN e de outros, mas de forma mais leve, pôem em risco a confiança dos depositantes que, essencialmente, são quem dão a solidez e estabilidade financeira a este sector. Imaginemos só o que aconteceria se, de repente, todos os depositantes resolvem resgatar os seus depósitos para colocar debaixo do colchão? Seria um colapso total do sector. O regulador tem de ter mais ferramentas e instrumentos de análise para poder agir em conformidade, sob o risco de lhe ser imputado a responsabilidade, como tem sido o caso.

quinta-feira, novembro 27, 2008

Marketing Sustentável: fad, fashion or something worth?

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Em breve o saberemos aqui no Antonuco. Vamos escrever um texto dedicado a esta temática na próximo número da Revista do Grupo Delta.

100 Notable Books from 2008 on New York Times

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/books/review/100Notable-t.html?_r=1&hp

quarta-feira, novembro 26, 2008

Newest Harvard MBAs flocked to Wall Street...

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Even as the markets convulsed and investment banks buckled, Harvard’s latest crop of M.B.A.’s headed for the financial services industry in greater numbers than the previous class.

That is the picture that emerges from the just-released hiring data from Harvard Business School for its class of 2008. The numbers indicate that 45 percent of the class went into the financial services industry — which is actually a slight increase from last year’s figure of 44 percent.

sábado, novembro 22, 2008

Tiago Tarré em artigo interessante na Revista Frontline

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Uma revista a seguir com interesse. E também para um par de jovens colunistas, com destaque para Tiago Tarré.

quinta-feira, novembro 20, 2008

Portugal num pouco honroso 32º lugar no ranking da corrupção por país..

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Menos que fantástico...ao nível da Dominica...

Ah valente!

Oficial...America Areal acaba de enviar, a seus parceiros e fornecedores, a carta anunciando a falência da Byblos

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Exm

1. O novo conceito de “Livrarias Byblos”, que abriu ao público em 14 de Dezembro de 2007, tinha como objectivos:

a) ser a primeira Livraria de Fundo Editorial no nosso país, disponibilizando a totalidade das obras publicadas em língua portuguesa;

b) e ser a primeira livraria a nível mundial que, através de pesquisa em ecrãs tácteis, facultava a exacta localização da estante e prateleira onde se encontraria o título pretendido;

c) deste sonho, idealizado e concretizado num acolhedor ambiente, incluiu-se também a disponibilização de dezenas de lugares sentados para consulta dos livros, um amplo Auditório onde se realizaram as mais diversas actividades culturais, uma Cafetaria (com serviço de almoços e jantares) a par da comercialização de outros produtos culturais (Jogos, CDs, DVDs, etc.)

Enfim, disponibilizou-se um verdadeiro serviço público o qual foi reconhecido não só no plano interno como internacionalmente, com visitas organizadas de livreiros Americanos, Alemães, Brasileiros, Espanhóis, Franceses, Italianos, Eslovenos, Finlandeses, Ingleses, etc. Foram publicados artigos nas mais variadas revistas estrangeiras e sempre salientavam as inovações tecnológicas, com particular destaque à inédita utilização das etiquetas RFID (Radio Frequency Identity), bem como à dimensão e à qualidade do “design da loja”.

2. No entanto este sonho transformou-se num pesadelo:

a) A empresa que havia assinado um “Protocolo de Entendimento”, tendo em vista a tomada de uma posição accionista de 40%, foi protelando a data da celebração do competente contrato e acabou por desistir em Abril de 2008;

b) Entretanto, de 2007 para 2008 o Mundo mudara e foram infrutíferas as tentativas de encontrar novos accionistas;

c) Estava planeada a abertura de mais duas lojas, mas o mercado já entrara numa enorme retracção de consumo e, em face da crise financeira, os financiamentos foram também impossíveis de concretizar.

3. Sendo a actividade livreira sazonal, os prejuízos acumulados no primeiro semestre provocaram um corte generalizado dos fornecimentos precisamente no segundo semestre, durante o qual seria possível promover-se alguma recuperação.

4. Assim, não restou outro caminho senão o da Apresentação à Insolvência da “Livrarias Peculiares, S.A.”.

Num novo cenário, será talvez possível que idêntico sonho se concretize com sucesso.

5. Nos próximos dias, o Administrador Judicial que vier a ser nomeado pelo Tribunal de Comércio de Vila Nova de Gaia assumirá a gestão da empresa, sendo previsível a promoção de uma reunião de credores a curto prazo.

6. Neste doloroso momento, permitam-me que Vos transmita um sentido agradecimento em meu nome pessoal por haverem partilhado do referido sonho. E, na medida do possível, Vos apresente o meu pesar por, na minha qualidade de Administrador Único, não ter conseguido corresponder para com as Vossas justas expectativas.

Américo Augusto Areal

Byblos: Bulhosa e Bertrand tão perto...

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos

Lembra o António Jorge e bem, que a Byblos padece também de outro óbice: a excessiva proximidade ao Centro Comercial Amoreiras...estacionamento a rodos, lojas âncora e ainda a concorrência da Bulhosa e da Bertrand...

Byblos vai fechar as portas? O retalho é assaz diferente da edição de livros...

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos

A fazer fé no Diário Digital (mas também em vários operadores do mercado) a maior livraria do país, a Byblos, prepara-se para fechar as portas.

Um ex-editor que resolveu entrar no negócio do retalho. E este tem pouco a ver com conteúdos de livros, autores, revisões e paginações, como seria típico do negócio da edição.

Tem a ver com retalho. E retalho é comércio, tráfego e fluxos de pessoas, montra, circuitos e tempos de permanência no interior da loja, fidelização de clientes, marca, imagem, posicionamento, enfim, nas antípodas da edição de livros...

Temos pena.
Mas se o empresário tivesse lido o livro "Marketing Inovador" (www.marketinginovador.com) talvez tivesse evitado este desfecho...

quarta-feira, novembro 19, 2008

What a Wonderful world...gentileza do Be Strong Be Positive

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos


http://bepositive-bestronger.blogspot.com/2008/11/energia-positiva-ramones-what-wonderful.html

O governador tem razão!

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos

Hoje um interessante artigo na página 53 do Diário Económico...(somos suspeitos da qualificação de interessante!)

terça-feira, novembro 18, 2008

Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, worst finance minister in Europe...

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos

From the Financial Times today, one can read on page 9 a all-page article called: Spend, lend and bend. FT ranking of european finance ministers.

Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, bottom of the pile, dragged by a poor national economic performance and his low european profile.

segunda-feira, novembro 17, 2008

It infuriated the public...

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos


Yes, it infuriated the public, cost a ton of money and lasted only 77 days before we reintroduced Coca-Cola Classic. Still, New Coke was a success because it revitalized the brand and reattached the public to Coke (Quoted from Sergio Zyman, Marketing Vice President in 1984; early 90´s)

New Coke: 24 years after the failure...

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos


In 1984, Coke introduced "New Coke," a drink with a slightly different recipe more intended to taste like Pepsi. In the blind taste tests, New Coke fared very well and most people surveyed said they preferred New Coke over Pepsi. If this was the case, how come when Coca-cola launched the product, New Coke failed so miserably? It was a complete disaster. There were protests around the country. How does a product that tested well in market research utimately fail when on the market?

terça-feira, novembro 11, 2008

O conceito de notoriedade em Marketing

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos


Artigo de António Valente na Revista de Marketing Farmacêutico.

A defesa do Governador...

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos

Só o presidente da Associação Portuguesa de Bancos (APB) e ex-presidente da CGD (ex-presidente do BFE, ex-secretário de estado de Marcelo Caetano, etc, etc) defende a actuação do Banco de Portugal e do seu Governador, no caso da supervisão do denominado caso BPN. Como é possível?

Helping grenn products grow

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos

From McKinsey Quarterly Review, an interesting article.

A brief excerpt:

The impulse to go “green” is spreading faster than morning glories. Organizations of all types are launching green campaigns—from London’s congestion charge on automobiles to Wal-Mart Stores’ push to sell organic foods. In almost every opinion poll on the subject, consumers say they are very concerned about climate change, and they connect the dots back to their own purchases, according to a 2007 McKinsey survey of 7,751 people in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Indeed, the poll shows that 87 percent of consumers worry about the environmental and social impact of the products they buy.

But when it comes to actually buying green goods, words and deeds often part ways. No more than 33 percent of the consumers in our survey say they are ready to buy green products or have already done so.

domingo, novembro 09, 2008

Será uma questão de modelo de avaliação dos professores do secundário?

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos

Não gostei das crítica de Manuela Ferreira Leite sobre o modelo de avaliação dos professores. Será que pretende mais um ano sem avaliação?
Continuando o nosso país como campeão europeu do abandono escolar, do montante gasto per capita por aluno ou na remuneração média dos professores em paridades do poder de compra.

Rigor, exigência, meritocracia? Não contam para a progressão na carreira dos professores? PAra isso precisamos de avaliação...Já!

sábado, novembro 08, 2008

Protesto dos professores do secundário

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos

Tinha decidido vir ao escritório na tarde de Sábado. Ausência de azáfama, calmaria, silêncio, enquadramento ideal para colocar as coisas em dia, para pensar nas próximas semanas, para resolver e conceptualizar problemas intrincados.

Eis quando o barulho chega ao Marquês de Pombal. Uma manifestação de professores do secundário. Muitos, ruidosos, mal vestidos, imensas senhoras professoras, alguns homens também.

Mas protestam de quê?

quinta-feira, novembro 06, 2008

Nauty...o nosso Mega Cão!

Isto de ter um cão Terra Nova que pesava 71 kilos tem que se lhe diga!



http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos
Posted by Picasa

Um Trio de Luxo!




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Crunch time for democracy

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos

It is ‘Crunch time for democracy’ according to a recent Economist Intelligence views wire article, pointing out that the current economic crisis may also be bad news for democracy. The danger might be that markets and democracy could now be seen as part of the same compromised package, undermining the scope for Western democracy promotion and increasing the attractiveness of the Chinese model of authoritarian capitalism for many emerging markets. Whether this depressing forecast will become reality remains to be seen, it surely will add to the challenges democracy promoters all over the world are facing.

quarta-feira, novembro 05, 2008

California´s voters aprove same sex marriage ban

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos

There was more than a presidential election or even a congressional one.

In several states voters had to decide on moral and ethics issues.

LOS ANGELES – In an election otherwise full of liberal triumphs, the gay rights movement suffered a stunning defeat as California voters approved a ban on same-sex marriages that overrides a recent court decision legalizing them.

The constitutional amendment — widely seen as the most momentous of the nation's 153 ballot measures — will limit marriage to heterosexual couples, the first time such a vote has taken place in a state where gay unions are legal.

Gay-rights activists had a rough election elsewhere as well. Ban-gay-marriage amendments were approved in Arizona and Florida, and Arkansas voters approved a measure banning unmarried couples from serving as adoptive or foster parents. Supporters made clear that gays and lesbians were their main target.

terça-feira, novembro 04, 2008

Blogs influence purchases more than social networks

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Buying Behavior: The Nature of Blog Influence

  • Blogs influence purchases: One half (50%) of blog readers say they find blogs useful for purchase information.
  • Blogs go beyond tech: Outside of technology-related purchases, for which 31% of readers say blogs are useful, other key categories include media and entertainment (15%); games/toys and/or sporting goods (14%); travel (12%); automotive (11%); and health (10%).

Why baby boomers will need to work longer...

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Most US baby boomers are not prepared for their retirement, and neither are the US and world economies. Boomers can help mitigate the consequences by remaining in the workforce beyond the traditional retirement age.

NOVEMBER 2008 • Eric D. Beinhocker, Diana Farrell, and Ezra Greenberg

sábado, novembro 01, 2008

Corrida da Saúde

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulomarcos

Em preparação para a Corrida da Saúde, 15 duros quilómetros, amanhã dia 02.11.2008

Man Booker Prize 2008

O Man Booker Prize é o mais importante prémio de literatura inglesa. Muito melhor que os prémios Nobel da Literatura, por menos político e muito mais literário.

O melhor em língua inglesa (quase sempre, se nos esquecermos do horrível D.B.C. Pierre com Vernon God Little).

O vencedor de 2008 foi Aravind Aringa com a novela The White Tiger.

Adiga, who has wanted to be a novelist since he was a boy, was born in Madras and now lives in Mumbai. He becomes the fifth Indian author to win the prize, joining VS Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Kiran Desai who won the prize in 1971, 1981, 1997 and 2006 respectively. In addition, The White Tiger is the ninth winning novel to take its inspiration from India or Indian identity.

The win is a first for publisher Atlantic; although they had books shortlisted for the prize in 2003 with The Good Doctor by Damon Galgut, and in 2004 with Bitter Fruit by Achmat Dangor.

The White Tiger was one of six shortlisted titles for the prize. Also shortlisted for this year's prize were Sebastian Barry for The Secret Scripture (Faber), Amitav Ghosh for Sea of Poppies (John Murray), Linda Grant for The Clothes on Their Backs (Virago), Philip Hensher for The Northern Clemency (Fourth Estate) and Steve Toltz for his debut novel A Fraction of the Whole (Hamish Hamilton). Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2,500 and a designer-bound edition of their book.

Michael Portillo, Chair of the 2008 judges, made the announcement, which was broadcast live on the BBC Ten O' Clock News. Peter Clarke, Chief Executive of Man Group plc, presented Aravind Adiga with a cheque for £50,000.

The judging panel for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction comprised: Michael Portillo, former MP and Cabinet Minister; Alex Clark, editor of Granta; Louise Doughty, novelist; James Heneage, founder of Ottakar's bookshops; and Hardeep Singh Kohli, TV and radio broadcaster.

Michael Portillo commented:

"The judges found the decision difficult because the shortlist contained such strong candidates. In the end, The White Tiger prevailed because the judges felt that it shocked and entertained in equal measure.

"The novel undertakes the extraordinarily difficult task of gaining and holding the reader's sympathy for a thoroughgoing villain. The book gains from dealing with pressing social issues and significant global developments with astonishing humour."

Portillo went on to explain that the novel had won overall because of 'its originality'. He said that The White Tiger presented 'a different aspect of India' and was a novel with 'enormous literary merit'.

Aravind Adiga studied at Columbia and Oxford Universities and is a former correspondent for Time magazine in India. Adiga's articles have also appeared in publications such as the Financial Times, Independent and Sunday Times.


quarta-feira, outubro 29, 2008

Turbulent times test our faith in equities...

Excerpto do The Times...

Um estudo de um economista do Barclays mostra que o investimento em acções, nos últimos 25 anos, quando comparado com um feito em obrigações do Tesouro, propicionou rendibilidades mais baixas...

It is an article of faith among most investors that equities outperform government bonds. Smart long-term investors put their money in shares because over any lengthy period in the past century or more, they have produced much bigger returns than bonds have.

With shares now languishing unloved once more, that faith is being put to the test. The cult of the equity is still the mainstream view but its adherents are having to be a lot more patient than usual. British shares are lower today than 12 years ago. Japanese shares are lower than 26 years ago.

Tim Bond, the man behind Barclays' Equity-Gilt study, has crunched up-to-date numbers for The Times and come up with some sobering findings. Only investors who put their money to work in 1983 or earlier would have done better placing it in equities than government bonds (gilts). From 1984 onwards, in any timeframe up to the present day, gilts have produced a better total return than shares. Over any timeframe of less than 15 years to the present day, even deposit accounts have produced a better return.

terça-feira, outubro 28, 2008

Entrevista exclusiva de Alex Ferguson ao The Times

Um must para qualquer gestor e curioso do futebol e da gestão de entidades desportivas.

Alguns excerptos:

Another challenge reared its head in the summer when Luiz Felipe Scolari took over as manager at Chelsea. If some wondered why, after more than 30 years, Ferguson had not got bored of management, the clues were in his reaction to a preseason issue of the Racing Post that trumpeted the Brazilian’s abilities over his own.

“Every analyst in there was tipping Chelsea for the title,” Ferguson recalls. “One guy wrote: ‘The reason is Scolari is in town.’ He said Scolari will not be intimidated by me. He suggested that Wenger, Mourinho and Avram Grant couldn’t ‘handle me’. The paper mentions me as having ‘had a go’ at Chelsea by saying that a team [with players] over 30 can’t win the league, which is absolute rubbish. I never said that. What I did say was that a team over 30 doesn’t improve a lot. But Chelsea, given their performance last season, don’t have to improve a lot to win it.

“Then, the same writer argues that Scolari is a better manager than me. I am not so arrogant as to believe that is impossible. Scolari may be a better manager than I am. But how can a sensible writer say that about a guy who has never managed in England? If you look at Scolari’s CV, he has managed about 17 teams.”


(...) (O The Times, provavelmente o melhor jornal do mundo)




http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/manchester_united/article5026752.ece

segunda-feira, outubro 27, 2008

Running for Fun: Managers and Professionals enjoying the pleasures of running

Um novo blogue de um grupo de entusiastas.
A acompanhar.

Why talent is overrated...

So if specific, inborn talent doesn't explain high achievement, what does? Researchers have converged on an answer. It's something they call "deliberate practice,"

http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/21/magazines/fortune/talent_colvin.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2008102116

quinta-feira, outubro 23, 2008

A Visão que vem do Atlântico...artigo do Diário Económico




A visão que veio do Atlântico

A visão do futuro que se pretende para o arquipélago é verdadeiramente a notícia relevante que veio dos Açores.

Paulo Gonçalves Marcos

Eleições regionais nos Açores, a vitória expectável do PS, com as surpresas do crescimento do CDS e do BE. A perda de votos foi mais que compensada com a dimensão simbólica da vitória em todas as ilhas. Vitória aguardada, e deixada antever nas diferenças de adesão popular conseguidas, na mobilização de antigos quadros do PSD local ou mesmo nos meios comunicacionais desenvolvidos. Acima de tudo o PS Açores soube desenvolver uma máquina eficiente em capturar apoios europeus, para além das transferências do Orçamento Geral do Estado ou das capacidades endógenas de obtenção de receitas fiscais. Mas a conjuntura dos Fundos Europeus, favorável que possa ter sido, não oblitera o mérito de ter a capacidade técnica de os solicitar, preparando para o efeito as complexas candidaturas. Antes de tudo, contudo, a visão do futuro que se pretendia para o arquipélago. E esta é verdadeiramente a notícia relevante que veio dos Açores. Não o resultado de umas eleições mas uma visão traçada em meados da década pretérita, tendo como linha estratégica a transformação de uma economia regional assente no sector primário para uma outra capaz de coexistir com este mas potenciadora dos atributos comparativos dos Açores, via Turismo: paisagem e beleza cénica, mar, ruralidade, clima ameno… Atributos não únicos tomados isolados, mas capazes de serem ímpares se conjugados. Uma economia nova para o século vinte e um, assente num sector não poluente, capaz de estimular a qualificação dos recursos humanos e a sofisticação das técnicas de gestão dos grupos empresariais. Começando pelo desenvolvimento do transporte aéreo, como forma de quebrar o ciclo vicioso: de falta de massa crítica, baixas rendibilidades, incapacidade de atrair capitais com que o sector do transporte aéreo regional se vinha defrontado. Ou, na gíria económica, introduzindo investimento do governo regional como forma de trazer “externalidades” positivas ao sector do Turismo nos Açores. Aproximando estes dos principais mercados emissores. Como resultado, a oferta e a procura dirigidas ao Turismo dos Açores a crescerem a taxas compósitas de dois dígitos, ao longo de mais de uma década. Um crescimento de mais de 200% no volume de negócios ou no emprego turístico da Região. Complexos turísticos integrados, hotéis modernos, empresas de animação e guias turísticos, desenvolveram-se de forma exponencial. Mas também a restauração, os centros interpretativos (forma moderna de fazer pequenos museus que são experiências vivas e interactivas), portos e náutica de recreio beneficiaram de forma exponencial. O Turismo dos Açores tem sido capaz de captar da atenção dos turistas continentais portugueses (e a sagacidade de usar o ‘product placement’ nas telenovelas da TVI a isso ajudou decisivamente) e nórdicos (com o trabalho feito pela Região e pelos empresários locais nos agentes e operadores da Escandinávia). E, caso ímpar no panorama nacional, o Turismo é já o segundo principal sector da Economia Regional (mas caminhando a passos largos para ser o mais proeminente). Mas os Açores fizeram mais que um boa visão e execução. Reconheceram, recentemente, que o paradigma do turista estava a mudar: contemplativo e tradicional, estagnado e em potencial declínio; haveria que desenvolver uma nova estratégia para servir os segmentos afluentes emergentes. Para o efeito, a aposta na captura de novos nichos de mercado, desenvolvendo as indústrias relacionadas e de suporte locais, especializando a oferta, desenvolvendo as capacidades de Gestão, de sistematização de Informação (com o Observatório Regional do Turismo) e de integração da Oferta (via Associação de Turismo dos Açores). E para além de Carlos César, existe um outro responsável pela visão e irrepreensível execução estratégica para o Turismo dos Açores: Duarte Ponte, secretário Regional da Economia. Os baixos níveis de desemprego, a actividade económica dinâmica do sector privado e o reforço das estruturas públicas, têm a marca do secretário Regional. Ou seja, se os eleitores também votam com a carteira, o PS Açores deve muito da vitória à sua economia!

www.antonuco.blogspot.com
____

Paulo Gonçalves Marcos, Economista

Comentários
Antonio Moreira
Sendo madeirense, confirmo que os Açores seguiram o modelo de AJJardim...obra pública a rodos, rendimento social de inserção...e turismo. Nos açores, mérito seja feito, uma aposta mais selectiva neste, menos estragadora da paisagem
Paulo Curto de Sousa (curtodesousa@gmail.com)
O bom aproveitamento dos apoios disponíveis (nomeadamente os europeus) é uma condição essencial para promover o desenvolvimento de qualquer região (sobretudo as periféricas). Nem sempre foi assim no Continente... Abraço.
DM
Caro Dr. Paulo Marcos Sendo açoriano concordo que nos últimos 12 anos Carlos César tenha deixado uma marca e obra de relevância e sucesso inegável. Porém não acho que haja assim tanta dinâmica privada ou mesmo emprego (falo do emprego qualificado). O Turismo podia ser um sector a apostar, mas com a forte crise mundial o público-alvo vai começar a cortar nas despesas e as viagens vão ser o primeiro "luxo" a acabar. Quanto ao mercado nórdico falado, era dito em voz alta nas minhas ilhas pelos principais responsáveis hoteleiros que estes turistas eram do tipo desinteressante e não lucrativo, porquê? Ora...comiam nos quartos de hotel uma sanduíche e bebiam um vinho rasca comprado num hipermercado em vez de irem a um restaurante, por outro lado o governo regional subsidiava a grande parte da viagem - no fundo era um mercado fictício. Para acabar, tenho esperanças que os Açores se desenvolvam realmente, pois as pessoas merecem. É uma região muito pobre e ainda hoje penso se o actual investimento de 60M€ nas "Portas do Mar" terão sido realmente um investimento ou infelizmente um grande custo! Cmps
Bruno Valverde Cota
A aposta na captura de novos nichos de mercado, novas indústrias locais, oferta especializada, nas capacidades de Gestão, foi claramente ganha. Um bom exemplo de estratégia política e local, com uma perspectiva global.
vg
De acordo com A.Moreira.Aquilo é "jardinismo light"...
Anabela
Ainda assim aposto que o PS Nacional não vai aproveitar ninguém dos Açores para dar um novo impulso ao governo da republica. ou seja, obra feita só conta para dar o "pulo" se for em Lisboa e na CML... Parabéns ao colunista
Manuel Pestana
Eu gosto do colunista. Escreve de forma diferente. Erudita. Mas não posso estar de acordo com o tema desta coluna. O desperdício parece ser a tónica dominante dos governantes das ilhas. Um gasto desproporcionado,face ao benefício líquido social.
Marco Cardoso (marco.cardoso@cco-consulting.com)
Parabéns Paulo por trazeres o tema para debate. Que tal os Açores promoverem um estudo para identificar os factores que promovem o desenvolvimento noutras ilhas/arquipelagos do Planeta. Existem tantos casos de sucesso. Com cada vez menos tempo... é cada vez mais importante não andarmos sempre a inventar a roda... Existem nichos para os Açores que não estão minimamente identificados... Porque não pensar em mercado nórdico (Islândia, Noruega, Suécia, Finlândia e Dinamarca) em vez de mercado escandinavo (Noruega e Suécia)? Um abraço,

segunda-feira, outubro 20, 2008

First things first

Who hasn’t heard the cliché: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Knowing people is important. After all, if people don’t know you it doesn’t matter how much you know.

However, there is an even more important ingredient for success than knowing people. It is called: standing for something. Without a clear positioning and a relevant brand promise what you know or who you know won’t take you very far.

Standing for something comes first. Everything else follows.

It’s not what you know
It’s not who you know

It’s what you stand for

terça-feira, outubro 14, 2008

Déja vu: six steps that make a great panic

From
October 13, 2008

Déjà vu: six steps that make up a great panic

For 2008, read 1907. This time, however, China and India have emerged well, unlike America, Britain and Europe

It has not been too difficult to foresee the course of the 2008 credit crisis, since it has followed the classic pattern of financial panics. There has been nothing new so far; it is just that the world forgot the lessons of previous panics: an expensive oversight.

One of the classic panics occurred in 1907, when the failure of the Knickerbocker Trust precipitated a credit crash on Wall Street, which was eventually brought under control by the great US banker, J.P. Morgan.

The following year, Marlon T. Herrick, an Ohio economist, published an article, The Panic Of 1907 and Some Of Its lessons. in which he laid out the six stages in which panics occur. “(1) Failure of an important bank or institution: the Knickerbocker Trust in 1907; (2) Heavy withdrawals of funds by depositors; (3) Demoralised stock markets affecting banks and depositors alike; (4) Hoarding of money in large amounts, not only by individuals, but by banks; (5) Gradual improvement in financial affairs;

(6) Acute trade reaction, discharge of many thousands of employees, and realisation that the country must pass through a more or less severe industrial reconstruction.”

That was 1907; it might just as well have been 2008. For the British, Northern Rock was the important bank that helped to precipitate the panic; in New York it was Bear Stearns, followed by the disaster of Lehman Brothers.

Since then the financial world has moved from step one to step four of the 1907 pattern; hoarding of money, which Maynard Keynes termed “liquidity preference”, is still inhibiting the normal flow of interbank lending. We are stuck, for the present, in phase four.

However, the world will move on, as it always does. There will eventually occur a gradual improvement in financial credit, with some resumption of interbank lending stimulated by government interventions. Unfortunately, there will also be an “acute trade reaction” and a serious rise in unemployment - phases five and six of the 1907 formula are already in the pipeline.

The 1907 panic was the sixth- largest contraction in the financial history of the United States. As one commentator, Benedikt Koehler, has observed: “Once the storm subsided, the aftermath showed the world had changed irreversibly and did not return to business as usual. The crisis of 1907 set out in sharp relief that new forces in financial markets were in the ascendance.” One could take a similar view of all other big financial crises. That is again true in 2008.

The 1907 panic led to the creation of America's central bank, the Federal Reserve Board, under the Act of 1913. Subsequently, it was the 1929 panic that led to more stringent US banking regulations and, more broadly, to President Roosevelt's New Deal. The Great Depression that followed the 1929 Crash undermined confidence in democracy throughout the world and brought Hitler to power in Germany.

More recently, the inflation of the 1970s, which destroyed the secondary banks in London, brought Margaret Thatcher, and deregulation, to power in 1979, and Ronald Reagan in 1980. Financial panics occur when there has been a long-term build-up of new forces. When the dam breaks, that changes the whole landscape.

Before the 2008 crash, the United States was already widely seen as losing relative power, in politics, economics, and even defence. Entangled in Iraq and Afghanistan, it already had a large trade deficit and was borrowing from Asia on a colossal scale.

The rising power was not seen as Europe or Russia, but as China, the largest and most successful of the emerging Asian economies. Russia does indeed have very large reserves of oil and gas, and benefited when the oil price was rising, but it was China that had become a successful modern manufacturer and exporter.

If people looked beyond China for a rising economy, they saw India, also with a population over a billion, and with a growth rate two or three times that of the West. China has about two trillion dollars of currency reserves, a crucial asset at the present time. Neither Chinese nor Indian banks have substantial investments in the toxic sub-prime mortgages, because they had much better opportunities for profitable investment at home.

If China and India have been particularly impressive in the crisis, the other emerging Asian markets have performed reasonably well. They experienced the Asian crisis of a decade ago and learnt some painful lessons about the importance of liquidity. You do not need to tell Asian bankers that cash is king.

In the early stage of the present panic, Europe was complacent, taking the view that this was an American crisis, caused by holdings of American sub-prime mortgage securities in American banks. However, if the United States has been a big loser in the crisis, so has Europe. European banks turned out to have too much toxic debt and toxic derivatives. This was bad banking, badly regulated, whether it occurred in the US, the UK or the eurozone.

If anything, the European authorities lagged behind the American and the British. There has been no big consolidated European response, either from the European Central Bank or the European Union itself.

Britain has benefited from its freedom of action outside the euro. We could take our own decisions, some of which, admittedly, proved mistaken. To the irritation of Germany, the Irish Government gave an independent guarantee to the Irish banks; how that could be reconciled with membership of the euro is an outstanding question.

The IMF and the World Bank, the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the European Union, the British regulatory authorities will all have to review their position. So will the world's largest banks. The group of eight will have to be extended to China and India. The world has changed; the world's banking system must change with it.

The West hasn't got the stomach for work anymore, only inflate & speculate on financial instruments, & now payback time.

ian cheese, london, uk

Let us see how well Asia handles a dramatic downturn in orders for manufactured goods. Factories in China are closing at record levels, causing massive payroll shifts from the private sector to the central government. A dramatic increase in crime is sure to follow. Always does.

Juan, San Diego, USA

William makes a good commentary on the 'crisis', however lessons must be learned from the 'good days' leading up to it which CAUSE the problem.

Dominic Graham de Montrose, London,

How very clubby of David UK, wanting to join the Europeans.
The world is now one very big club economically, however, as witness the current international panic. I think it behooves every nation to work collectively to maintain
reasonable economic stabilty. If this means more attentive oversight....

schmendric, Murphy, USA

I wonder why anyone would suggest entering the Euro. They have been unable to come up with a common policy and have ended up adopting ours.

Ironic when you hear people ranting on about Britain having no influence outside the Euro. You could argue that we're running the thing without belonging.

jon livesey, Sunnyvale, CA/USA

There are steps before your first point (1) failure of an important bank.... Include, banks and companies allowed to get, too big to fail and too big to manage. Also promotion of the wrong people, who don't treat other people's money like their own. When a collapse is allowed the crooks get fired.

Hugo van Randwyck, London, UK

It's a learning curve that every generation needs to go through. The goal should be to speed up the process so that pain bites sooner and is over with quicker.
Sadly though that might impair the learning process.

An interesting ride for everyone

Steve, Derby, uk

We must thank our lucky stars we have stayed out of the Eurozone. Membership would have involved a loss of independence on the exchange rate and higher and longer unemployment. America may be a busted flush but so is much of Europe. I, for one, do not want to be ruled by Brussels or Frankfurt.

William, Guildford, UK

Personnally, I would not write-off Russia in one sentence. It has all the raw materials it (& to an extent China and India) needs. It will soon own the meters on the EU gas supply. Put that into per capita terms on a population of 145m and you have wealth.

We have a "financial services" base...

Mike L, Chippenham,

A very good analysis AFTER the event.

The next crisis?

'Green financial instruments'?

Govt off-balance sheet liabilities?

Where can I lay bets on this eh?

Rhys Jaggar, Leeds, UK

This weekend proves that we can get along and lead a life without the doom-sayers having a platform to shout from. Will the panic start again Monday?

Phil, Atlanta, US

To David of Exeter,
Au contraire, recent events have only shown
disunity and an everyman for himself mentality in the Eurozone. Defections from the Eurozone, fi not break up, is more likely that any significant enlargement of the Eurozone.

Denver Watt, Osaka,

Ireland, a member of the eurozone, did its own thing. The UK, a non-member, is leading a coordinated response with France and Germany. Euro-membership has not been a relevant factor here. It would however have prevented currency devaluation in the UK with its inflationary effects.

Andrew, London,

There is an easily observable eighteen to twenty year economic cycle (once you subtract the war years) - each time Americas decline has been predicted, followed by a recovery usually lead by the United States.

Arnold Ward, Weybridge, Surrey, UK

We should thank Ireland for precipitating action within Europe. If they had instead defaulted without taking a lead, we would all be in a much more difficult situation. They forced European government to face the need to take responsibility. But rescuing the banks is only the first step to stability

Chris Coles, Medstead, Alton, United Kingdom

I would have thought this weekend proves quite conclusively that we must enter the Euro zone. America is a busted flush its time to join our European partners.

david, exeter, uk

segunda-feira, outubro 13, 2008

Prémio Nobel da Economia Paul Krugman

Press Release

13 October 2008

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2008 to

Paul Krugman
Princeton University, NJ, USA

"for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity"


International Trade and Economic Geography

Patterns of trade and location have always been key issues in the economic debate. What are the effects of free trade and globalization? What are the driving forces behind worldwide urbanization? Paul Krugman has formulated a new theory to answer these questions. He has thereby integrated the previously disparate research fields of international trade and economic geography.

Krugman's approach is based on the premise that many goods and services can be produced more cheaply in long series, a concept generally known as economies of scale. Meanwhile, consumers demand a varied supply of goods. As a result, small-scale production for a local market is replaced by large-scale production for the world market, where firms with similar products compete with one another.

Traditional trade theory assumes that countries are different and explains why some countries export agricultural products whereas others export industrial goods. The new theory clarifies why worldwide trade is in fact dominated by countries which not only have similar conditions, but also trade in similar products – for instance, a country such as Sweden that both exports and imports cars. This kind of trade enables specialization and large-scale production, which result in lower prices and a greater diversity of commodities.

Economies of scale combined with reduced transport costs also help to explain why an increasingly larger share of the world population lives in cities and why similar economic activities are concentrated in the same locations. Lower transport costs can trigger a self-reinforcing process whereby a growing metropolitan population gives rise to increased large-scale production, higher real wages and a more diversified supply of goods. This, in turn, stimulates further migration to cities. Krugman's theories have shown that the outcome of these processes can well be that regions become divided into a high-technology urbanized core and a less developed "periphery".

quinta-feira, outubro 09, 2008

Auditors last report on Lehman Brothers Balance Sheet...

"There are two sides of a Balance Sheet, Left & Right (Assets and Liabilities respectively):

On the Right side there is nothing right and on the Left side there is nothing left".

quarta-feira, outubro 08, 2008

Financial Institutions not communicating with customers enough in present economic turmoil

October 8: Industry Risk - Financial Institutions Not Communicating with Customers Enough in Present Economic Turmoil


Location: Princeton
Author: Lisa Olson
Date: Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Despite Wall Street Chaos, Most Investors Consider Assets Safe

According to a new survey from Opinion Research Corporation (an infoGROUP Company), banks, savings and loans, and credit unions appear to be doing a poor job of keeping their customers informed in this turbulent economic climate. Nearly half of those surveyed (46%) said the bank in which they have the most assets was not communicating with them enough.

Mutual funds fared slightly better than banks, with 42 percent of respondents that hold the majority of assets there expressing disappointment in the level of communication from their provider. Brokerage firms appeared to be doing the best job of keeping their customers informed, with sixty-two percent of respondents that hold the majority of assets there indicating that the level of communication has been good.

“With the stock market on a rollercoaster ride, financial institutions must take proactive measures to reassure their customers and shareholders and bolster confidence in their performance,” said Jeff Resnick, President of Opinion Research Corporation (US). “In the absence of information, people will fear the worst.”

Despite the chaos on Wall Street, overall confidence levels in financial services institutions remain high, with eighty-five percent of respondents saying they consider their assets to be safe. However, the study shows that levels of confidence vary by sector.

Banks, S&L’s, and credit unions were regarded as safe havens for savings by 89 percent of those who keep their assets there. Brokerage firms and mutual funds fared almost as well, with 78 percent of those who have the majority of their assets in either of these institutions saying they were confident that their assets were safe.

The survey also found that more than half (55%) of respondents thought that the crisis would have a negative impact on them, while 24 percent didn’t think it would have any impact on them.


Article Printed From RiskCenter.com

Buying commercial paper...at last!

October 8: Market Risk - US Fed Announces Creation of Commercial Paper Funding Facility to Help Provide Liquidity to Term Funding Markets


Location: Washington, DC
Author: RiskCenter Staff
Date: Wednesday, October 8, 2008


The Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday announced the creation of the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF), a facility that will complement the Federal Reserve's existing credit facilities to help provide liquidity to term funding markets. The CPFF will provide a liquidity backstop to U.S. issuers of commercial paper through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that will purchase three-month unsecured and asset-backed commercial paper directly from eligible issuers.

The Federal Reserve will provide financing to the SPV under the CPFF and will be secured by all of the assets of the SPV and, in the case of commercial paper that is not asset-backed commercial paper, by the retention of up-front fees paid by the issuers or by other forms of security acceptable to the Federal Reserve in consultation with market participants. The Treasury believes this facility is necessary to prevent substantial disruptions to the financial markets and the economy and will make a special deposit at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in support of this facility.

The commercial paper market has been under considerable strain in recent weeks as money market mutual funds and other investors, themselves often facing liquidity pressures, have become increasingly reluctant to purchase commercial paper, especially at longer-dated maturities. As a result, the volume of outstanding commercial paper has shrunk, interest rates on longer-term commercial paper have increased significantly, and an increasingly high percentage of outstanding paper must now be refinanced each day.

A large share of outstanding commercial paper is issued or sponsored by financial intermediaries, and their difficulties placing commercial paper have made it more difficult for those intermediaries to play their vital role in meeting the credit needs of businesses and households.

By eliminating much of the risk that eligible issuers will not be able to repay investors by rolling over their maturing commercial paper obligations, this facility should encourage investors to once again engage in term lending in the commercial paper market. Added investor demand should lower commercial paper rates from their current elevated levels and foster issuance of longer-term commercial paper. An improved commercial paper market will enhance the ability of financial intermediaries to accommodate the credit needs of businesses and households.

Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF) Terms and Conditions (57 KB PDF)


Article Printed From RiskCenter.com

Financial crisis: how to cope (McKinsey Review)

How to win in a financial crisis

When is a good time to make strategic advances? During a crisis, of course.

November 2002

Simple survival is the first strategy that most managers come up with when confronting a financial crisis. The savviest managers, however, realize that a period of great uncertainty, with financial and competitive landscapes changing almost overnight, can be the ideal time to make important strategic gains.

Douglas Daft, Coca-Cola’s chief executive, knows the feeling. In 1997, as head of the company’s Asian operations, he watched capital investment turn fickle and devaluations deepen while a financial storm swept across much of Asia. As panic spread, Daft summoned his executives to a series of workshops about how Coca-Cola could capture new growth opportunities and emerge strengthened from the trauma. After all, the company had achieved one of its greatest breakthroughs in international markets at the end of World War II, when it discovered new opportunities in the broken landscape of Western Europe.

Daft emerged with a focus on acquisition opportunities that, he calculated, would be unchained by the turmoil. Over the next few years, Coca-Cola bought a bottling business in South Korea, giving the company better access to the mom-and-pop retail stores there, and gained better access in China, Japan, and Malaysia. The company abandoned its country-defined market perspective in favor of a more regional strategic view and bought several locally branded coffee and tea drinks. It also revamped its procurement business by consolidating and renegotiating purchases of aluminum, coffee, PET (a type of plastic for bottles), and sugar.

It isn’t only foreign multinationals that can take advantage of upsets in emerging markets. At the beginning of the Asian crisis, South Korea’s Housing & Commercial Bank (H&CB) was a midsize, government-controlled institution focused on mortgage lending. Its performance was mediocre, and its market capitalization stood at only $250 million. Yet in Kim Jung Tae the bank had a bold CEO who took advantage of a useful fact—that employees are more willing to accept change during a crisis—to restructure the company by changing its organization, strategy, and performance culture. Regulations governing mergers were also modified, opening the door to H&CB’s 2001 merger with Kookmin Bank.1 Just before the merger, the market capitalization of H&CB stood at $2.1 billion, and it became the first South Korean bank to list American depositary receipts (ADRs) on the New York Stock Exchange.

Consider also the case of Roust, a company that used Russia’s 1998 debacle to transform itself, in three years, from a consumer goods distributor specializing in premium alcohol brands into a holding company that includes a leading bank built from scratch. The remake took nerve, but Roustam Tariko, Roust’s CEO, spotted an opportunity: the country’s many failed banks were leaving behind important facilities and talent that could be acquired cheaply. The missing ingredient—money—was one that Roust, fortunately, did have. In six months, Tariko crafted a solid business plan, used it to recruit selected senior managers from other banks, and established the Russian Standard Bank, now one of the largest consumer lenders in Russia and growing by several hundred percent a year.

Together with the shock, threat, and uncertainty of a financial crisis comes a new landscape of broad, radical economic change

How do companies achieve such transformations amid chaos? These anecdotal examples suggest that one common approach is to recognize that along with the shock, uncertainty, and threat comes a new landscape of broad, radical change. Alert executives relax their assumptions about the boundaries that normally confine their businesses. Coca-Cola already knew that local attitudes toward foreigners were changing and that acquisition opportunities would become more plentiful because of the Asian crisis—in short, this was an ideal time to expand market share. H&CB took advantage of regulatory shifts and its employees’ new willingness to accept change. Roust stepped into banking while industry leaders were falling.

Beyond boundaries

In normal times, four boundaries limit the scope and nature of a company’s business: regulations, competition, customers’ attitudes, and the organization’s ability to change. In times of crisis, however, the boundaries often shift dramatically, and those shifting boundaries can become the means through which companies improve their competitive position. By understanding how the boundaries affect a business before the crisis hits, and how they might change during the upheaval, executives can prepare to capture strategic opportunities.

Regulations move

Regulatory restraints are embedded deep in the core assumptions of most companies. Management takes for granted parameters such as the types of businesses or markets a company can enter, the kinds of products or services it can sell, and how much market share it is allowed to capture. Often, however, these constraints are relaxed or removed during a crisis.

In South Korea, for instance, the Fair Trade Commission, which approves mergers, took a dim view of industry concentration before 1997. As the government scrambled to restructure the country’s sinking financial system, however, some formerly unthinkable bank mergers suddenly became possible.2 It was this shift that helped H&CB merge with Kookmin Bank in 2001, creating a behemoth unprecedented in South Korean banking: H&CB’s market share leapt from 11 to 26 percent in deposits, from 29 to 44 percent in retail loans, and from 5 to 24 percent in corporate loans.

Moreover, limits on foreign ownership might be liberalized or abandoned altogether. Throughout most major economies in Asia, the allowable levels of foreign ownership in banking, for example, rose from less than 50 percent to 100 percent in some cases; Malaysia was the notable exception (Exhibit 1). Similar changes took place in other industries, thereby creating new opportunities for foreign players.

Chart: Asia’s banking sector is opening up

Deregulation can also release pent-up consumer demand and create new industries, seemingly almost overnight. During the 1994 crisis in Brazil, its government extensively revamped the regulation of personal financial services. New rules designated mutual funds as legally separate entities from banks, and credit card issuers were allowed to work with a number of brands. As a result, mutual-fund assets under management rocketed from virtually nothing in 1994 to more than $120 billion in 1996. Over the same two years, the volume of credit card transactions soared from $10 billion to $26 billion.3 Institutions that anticipated the transformation saw their business take off.

Furthermore, financial crises not only spur top-down regulatory changes but also give companies leverage to influence change from the bottom up. GE Capital, for instance, was able to bargain with Japanese insurance regulators in 1998, when the government was trying to sort out the troubled industry. GE then recapitalized a failing company, Toho Mutual Life Insurance, in a $1.1 billion deal, and in return the government agreed, in a regulatory ruling, to lower the rate of interest on new policies, from an unprofitable average of 4.75 percent to a more profitable 1.5 percent.4 Executives should always work on the assumption that regulations can be changed, particularly during the throes and aftermath of a crash.

Competition shifts

Industry leaders might seem to have the best position for weathering a financial storm, but interest-payment defaults, supply chain interruptions, and a loss of confidence by creditors or investors can quickly topple them, opening the door for newcomers and changing the dynamics of the business. After both the 1994 Mexican and the 1997 South Korean crisis, rankings among the top ten companies in each nation changed twice as frequently as before, and consolidation in many industries increased enormously.

The upheaval is often greatest in financial services. Three of the top ten private banks in Brazil were bankrupted by the crisis of 1994, and several state-owned banks were privatized, leading to the consolidation of the industry and to greater foreign participation. By 2000, half of the top ten banks in the country were newcomers; moreover, the foreign-owned banks in the top ten held assets that went from zero to $63 billion, or 13 percent of total bank assets, by the end of the year. All foreign-owned banks in Brazil held as much as 30 percent ($133 billion of the country’s bank assets (Exhibit 2). In Russia, a similar story played out: five5 of what in 1996 had been the ten largest banks in the country went bankrupt by 2001, while local upstarts such as Alfa Bank rose from relative obscurity to take their place among its biggest institutions. This situation was repeated in country after country.

Chart: Changing places

Where small local players are hit hard by a crisis, they may well be acquired by larger companies, which tend to be foreign and to have more diverse operations. In Southeast Asia, cement production was dominated until 1997 by locally owned companies, many of them inefficient operators. Most are now foreign owned. Holcim, the Swiss cement giant, is one of the largest newcomers. After more than a decade of looking for opportunities to expand in Asia, it at last bought large and often controlling stakes in beleaguered local cement companies in Thailand (Siam City Cement), the Philippines (Alsons Cement and Union Cement), and most recently Indonesia (PT Semen Cibinong). By upgrading the management skills of these businesses and installing new boards of directors, Holcim turned lackluster performers into tough competitors; Siam City Cement, for instance, boosted its market capitalization fivefold in the three years after the takeover. This scenario was repeated in industries throughout Southeast Asia.

Conventional wisdom suggests that companies should put new investments and potential M&A deals on hold when markets are changing rapidly. Yet the experience of many successful companies during periods of financial turmoil clearly demonstrates the opposite. From August to December 1997, as chaos broke out in Asia, upward of 400 deals, totaling $35 billion, were completed in the region outside Japan—a more than 200 percent increase over the same period the year before.6

Certainly, it would be foolhardy to ignore the greater risk that acquisitions entail during financial crises. Nevertheless, deals can be structured to accommodate it. In 1997, for instance, the Belgian beer company Interbrew was negotiating with South Korea’s Doosan over the sale of its beer business, Oriental Brewery (OB). Given the uncertainty in the market and rumors of impending change in the liquor laws, the two companies agreed on a set of "triggers," or conditional payments, designed to bridge gaps in expectations of future value. Interbrew bought a 50 percent stake in OB, with the triggers leading to additional payouts if specific changes occurred in the industry structure or tax code. By thinking creatively, Interbrew and Doosan inked a "win-win" deal that managed the downside and the upside.

Customers’ attitudes evolve

As people lose their jobs, and sometimes their savings, their demands as customers may change. If so, retailers and manufacturers of lower-end goods are naturally well placed to prosper. The fortunes of the Indonesian company Ramayana, a discount retailer once shunned by a growing middle class more interested in global brands and upscale goods, began to improve when the country’s currency, the rupiah, plummeted in 1997 and the public’s purchasing power dwindled. Ramayana’s managers responded by holding prices steady, offering goods in smaller quantities, and providing affordable, staple items such as cooking oil, rice, and sugar. While high-end and mass-market department stores saw their sales decline, Ramayana’s sales increased by 18 percent in the year to December 1998, when the crisis was at its height.

McKinsey research shows that after 1997, consumers in many Asian markets became more receptive to new financial products, new channels, and foreign institutions (Exhibit 3). From 1998 to 2000, consumer attitudes toward credit also changed sharply: for example, the percentage of people who considered borrowing "unwise" fell from 46 to 26 percent in South Korea, from 52 to 42 percent in Malaysia, and from 55 to 45 percent in the Philippines. Not surprisingly, in many countries the once fiscally cautious public has gone on a borrowing spree; the amount of consumer loans from 1998 to 2001 increased by 30 percent in South Korea and by 129 percent in China. Similar changes in demand have occurred in other industries as well.

Chart: Customers ready for change after crisis

Public perceptions of foreign companies can alter, too. Only 47 percent of South Koreans favored incoming foreign direct investment in 1994, for instance, but by March 1998 almost 90 percent did.7 South Koreans recognized their country’s need for not only foreign capital but also the technology and new management practices that foreign companies would inevitably bring. President-elect Kim Dae-Jung played a key role in persuading the country of the benefits of foreign investment, drawing on the example of the United Kingdom’s financial-services and automotive industries, in which few companies are British owned, though well-paid jobs abound. That argument took hold, and from 1997 to 1999 inflows of foreign direct investment to South Korea increased from less than $7 billion to more than $15 billion.8

Foreign companies that respond quickly to such shifts in attitude can reap the benefits. Before the crisis in Asia, Citibank struggled to expand its operations in the region. Following the Indonesian riots of May 1998, however, Citibank set up 75 minibranches in the country’s four largest cities. In most cases, the branches consisted of only an ATM and an attendant, yet this modest investment helped Citibank increase the number of its accounts by 300 percent. In Singapore, meanwhile, Citibank employees greeted people arriving from Indonesia at the airport during the early days of the crisis with signs reading, "Citibank will help you!" Over the next few years, the bank invested more than $200 million in Asia. According to one Citigroup manager, the crisis "gave us opportunities that were beyond belief."9

Organizations change

For executives willing to make bold moves, a crisis can be a burning platform that creates an opportunity to change corporate culture and operations drastically: shareholders, employees, and creditors alike recognize that things must change, and resistance melts away. For visionary leaders, this is the time to revamp the power structure, adjust the organization’s size, create a stronger and more performance-driven culture, and throw out sacred cows.

At H&CB, for instance, CEO Kim Jung Tae drove unprecedented changes throughout the organization during the crisis of 1997 and 1998. First he set tough performance targets (a return on assets of 1.5 percent and a return on equity of 25 percent) intended to mirror the performance of US-based Wells Fargo and Britain’s Lloyds TSB. Kim declared that H&CB could "become a world-class, top-100 retail bank in three years"—high aspirations for a mediocre, midsize South Korean institution. The tumult of the times, however, enabled Kim to back his words with actions: he cut 30 percent of the staff within three months and in the first year took a salary of just 1 South Korean won (less than $0.01), receiving the rest of his compensation in stock options. In South Korea, these measures were unconventional, to say the least.

Over the following two years, Kim launched more than 20 performance-improvement initiatives in areas such as pricing strategy, retail credit scoring, and customer service. To improve accountability and make it easier to judge the performance of the bank’s divisions, he reorganized them away from their geographic focus, turning them into customer-oriented business units. The proportion of compensation based on performance was increased and the bonus system revamped. These radical reforms were unthinkable before the crisis. Afterward, though, employees and other stakeholders went along with them, so that H&CB met Kim’s ambitious performance targets within two years.

Meanwhile, Ayala (see Ken Gibson, "A case for the family-owned conglomerate," The McKinsey Quarterly, 2002 Number 4), a 168-year-old Philippine conglomerate, had always prided itself on a social pact with its employees: a job for life. In the wake of the 1997–98 financial crisis, however, Ayala’s management realized that the company would have to refresh its talent pool to remain competitive and took the unprecedented step of offering a voluntary layoff program.

Time and again we have seen crises prompt managers and shareholders to reevaluate the ways of local management and move closer to international best-practice standards in areas such as governance, staff management, and accounting. Companies that make these reforms are better placed to emerge as market leaders when the dust settles.

Seize the day

Merely recognizing that the rules have changed and looking for new opportunities is not enough, however, to make the most of a crisis. Where a company in normal times might have months to manage late-paying wholesalers, each day can make a critical difference during a crisis. This environment can brutally punish companies that are slow to adjust but offers the possibility of big rewards to those that are fast and flexible.

Moving quickly often means being the first to enter a market when its future is still clouded by uncertainty. This takes courage, but the payoff can be handsome. Consider the experience of Lone Star Funds, the first investor to purchase distressed banking assets in South Korea. Bidding against a very small number of investors in December 1998, Lone Star obtained its first portfolio of nonperforming loans from the Korean Asset Management Company (KAMCO)10 for just 36 percent of book value. Being the first company to do so seemed risky. Steven Lee, Lone Star’s country manager in South Korea, said that "No one had tested the liquidity of these assets in the market. It was a daunting due-diligence task." The move paid off, though, and the portfolio earned a very significant annualized return. At KAMCO’s next auction, in June 1999, 14 investors were in the bidding pool and prices rose.

Making strategy during such times requires fast footwork and a rapid reassessment of the way circumstances change with each major event. The sharpest executives will review the changing boundary conditions of their companies on a weekly, even daily basis. Although steering through each day’s turmoil is hard enough, managers must always keep an eye on the changes needed to make a company emerge as a winner and consider how to influence these changes before competitors do.

Financial crises shock and paralyze not only countries but also companies—and often pull companies under. For sophisticated executives, however, the tumult produces a changing backdrop for doing business, and this backdrop can be exploited, frequently to great advantage. By remaining calm while the weary and wary retreat—and by keeping an eye on fundamental changes in the regulatory, financial, and political environment—the best crisis managers have turned unfortunate circumstances into the opportunity of a lifetime for their companies.

About the Authors

Dominic Barton is a director in McKinsey’s Seoul office; Roberto Newell is a recently retired director in the Miami office; Gregory Wilson is a principal in the Washington, DC, office. This article is adapted from their forthcoming book, Dangerous Markets: Managing in Financial Crises, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2002.

Notes

1The merged entity now goes by the name Kookmin Bank.

2Before the 1997 crisis, only one bank merger had ever taken place, and it was viewed as largely a failure, since labor law restrictions ruled out potential cost savings.

3Banco Central do Brasil.

4Falia News, Number 32, April 2000; and Nikkei News, February 11, 2002.

5Inkombank, Menatep, Mosbusinessbank, SBS-Agro, and UNEXIM.

6See Rajan Anandan, Anil Kumar, Gautam Kumra, and Asutosh Padhi, "M&A in Asia," The McKinsey Quarterly, 1998 Number 2, pp. 64–75.

7Survey on South Korean opinion about foreigners investing in the South Korean economy, Korea Development Institute, 1994 and 1998.

8Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy. See "Pupil who has learned enough to tutor," Financial Times, March 21, 2002; and Foreign Direct Investment in Korea, KPMG, September 2001.

9"Citibank conquers Asia," Business Week, February 26, 2001.

10A government-run body that bought the distressed assets of banks and other financial institutions and was charged with liquidating those assets.