I had not been in Tehran for the past 38 years, but had been a frequent visitor of the country when I was in charge of the Middle East for my bank, Societe Generale de Banque, in Belgium. As the lifting of the Western sanctions against Iran was approaching, I undertook the journey back to Tehran this weekend. I wanted to evaluate what could be done in the field of finance to facilitate the reintegration of Iran in the global world of finance. I had published a post here, in September 2015, advocating the reintegration of Iran in the world community. Read More
Everyone is celebrating; it is time for family and friends, going back to sweet memories, or setting up plans for next year. For Syrians, during the last few years, things have been quite different. Actually, this time of the year is nearly the worst to go through. Read more.
The presidential candidates have collectively delivered a resounding political victory to ISIS, whom each of them focused on.
Following the debate was like listening to aspiring presidents who consider that the most important issue facing the United States of America is to “beat ISIS.” They did not even realize that, by doing so, they were giving ISIS the golden keys to the kingdom: the ability to define our policies. Read More
Born and raised in Belgium, I have a bias. I went to the United States in 1996 to lead the NYSE’s research and international departments and I became a U.S. citizen in 2009 after Belgium allowed dual citizenship. After the Paris attacks, an insidious attempt to blame Belgium for the attacks struck me as (at best) ill-informed. Read more
The European insurance sector has approximately 6.8 trillion euros of assets under management. It is the largest European institutional investor, a fundamental element of financial stability and provides support for the global economy. Additionally, the European insurance sector is a significant source of jobs, providing employment for more than one million people. The chart below illustrates the share of GDP represented by insurance premiums, generally defined as penetration ratios. Read more
It is fascinating to read the (generally uninformed) comments that accompany the public debate around the approval of the Iran agreement that has been negotiated for more than two years. It is so obvious that it is better than the current situation that I find it necessary to spell out the economic case on behalf of the agreement. Read more
It is hard to believe that the roster of 10 men could land such a despicable debate. It is a shame for them, and a shame for their party. I congratulate the moderators on having found enough substance in their questions. Read more
De la fenêtre de ma chambre d’hôtel, au 61eme étage d’un des buildings de Pudong, c’est le brouillard. Cette image illustre bien la situation qui prévaut en Chine depuis le début de la semaine. Peu de visibilité et une vraie inquiétude. L’impact de la chute du marché de 30% en 3 semaines ouu se traitent des volumes record, n’est pas une question qui concerne seulement les institutions. 80% des actions chinoises sont détenues directement par les ménages. L’inverse des Etats-Unis et beaucoup plus qu’en Europe. L’employé ou le petit commerçant ont été incités par le Gouvernement chinois de mettre leurs économies en actions comme la valeur qui monte. En savoir plus