No Guns, No Dogs, No Naked Men

April 3, 2012

When I was working as a consultant in the Netherlands many years ago, one of my clients was a small bank. You knew they did things differently the moment you stood in front of the elegant facade. On the main entrance door, at about 30 cm above ground, a discreet sign “No Dogs Allowed” was […]

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Big Amount Does Not Equal Big Profit

March 29, 2012

I like sports and often keep track of my performance. The other day I participated in an event that took me 4:20 hours to finish. Is this good ? Of course you wouldn’t be able to answer because you don’t know what the distance was and if I was biking or running (or rowing) and […]

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If My Dog Could Speak

March 16, 2012

In general dogs are pretty stupid but our dog is – of course – really smart. That is what most people say about their own dogs. The truth is that all dogs are rather stupid but most of them are very likable. Sir Winston Churchill said famously “I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals“.(more quotes).  […]

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Performance Against Budget Or Market

March 8, 2012

When I still was an athlete (about me) it was easy to measure performance. When you were first at the finish that meant you won. The first gets a gold medal, the second a silver one and the third a bronze. (By the way, gold medals are not really gold, my wife’s Olympic Gold is […]

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Look Ahead, Get Ahead

March 4, 2012

Running is a very efficient way to get some exercise. You can do it almost everywhere and it doesn’t cost a lot. We do most of our running around Herastrau lake, a lap of about 5 km. When we first lived in Bucharest, in 1993 -1997, we would be the only ones. Old ladies would […]

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Austrian Credit Exposure

February 9, 2012

As photographer I know exactly what exposure means. It is the amount of light that hits the film or sensor in the camera. It is adjusted by increasing or decreasing the time of exposure and/or the diameter of the diaphragm. In financial terms exposure can have more meanings or at least more interpretations. Nothing very […]

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The Dreaming Professor

January 12, 2012

Last week I wrote about cost and competition. This was partially a reaction to an article in Ziarul Financiar by a professor at the Academy of Economic Studies (ASE) in Bucharest. Not a week later I found an article in ZF by another prof.univ.dr. at ASE, Eduard Dinu. New Year Wishes This professor explains how […]

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Costs And Competition

January 6, 2012

Every now and then the discussion about costs in the banking system surfaces. The latest example was in the Ziarul Financiar of last wednesday in which professor Dan Armeanu, under the title “Why I Agree With Mister Governor,” gives his opinion.  I’ll not go into the content of the article but it didn’t seem very […]

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Austrian Credit Limitations ?

November 24, 2011

Last Monday the Austrian banking supervisors, the FMA and the Austrian National Bank (OeNB) announced measures that may limit the possibility of subsidiaries of Austrian banks to continue to extend credit under certain circumstances. These measures came as a total surprise to all involved. President Basescu has made strong statements about this at The Economist’s Bucharest […]

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Corruption, Again

November 2, 2011

The Romanian Foreign Investors Council (FIC) is an association of foreign investors aiming at improving the investment climate in Romania. Last year it proposed to the government  a series of 80 measures in its “Program for Growth”, in order to stimulate economic growth. The government is not obliged to listen to the FIC, of course, but […]

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