Indonesia’s elite has too much to lose from addressing its actions in East Timor

A friend, recently visiting Jakarta for the first time, surveyed this ugly, chaotic and most inappropriate of metropolises. As we edged our way through the gridlock clogging the fetid sepia dusk, begging mothers with scrawny babes-in-arms pawed at oligarchs’ BMWs and Ferraris circling the downtown ‘Welcome Monument’ fountain, which was … read more >>

From financial powerhouses to the houses of power

AUSTRALIA has one as prime minister-in-waiting, while across the Tasman, New Zealand is actually led by one. And it is happening in Asia, too. It seems that bankers don’t retire, die or get sent to Guantanamo Bay, as many victims of the global financial crisis might prefer, but get their … read more >>

World turns disapproving eyes on Singapore banquet

WERE every high school as wonderful as Singapore’s United World College. Each morning, a convoy of chauffeur-driven Mercedes, BMWs and SUVs sweep up to the expansive campus, dropping well-shod students dangling all manner of modish teenage bling; mobile phones, computers, designer this and that. The sumptuous grounds are more suggestive … read more >>

Sri Lanka’s Next Battle

AFTER the end of Sri Lanka’s long and often barbaric civil war, there’s no avoiding President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Banners espousing his election manifesto Mahinda Thought line the nation’s roads and railways. Pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV and his mustachioed visage appears a dozen times, illustrating the … read more >>

Indonesia looks forward to continued reform

WITH Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) re-elected for a second term as Indonesia’s president, the big question Jakarta bankers are asking is whom he will appoint to his cabinet. Bankers have been happy with the incumbent finance minister, the capable and – more important for one of the world’s most corrupt … read more >>

Formula for Excess

Singapore’s free-wheeling private bankers enjoyed the ride of their lives in the precrisis years, but with government intervention and a clutch of lawsuits looming, it looks as though many are finally running out of road. DESPITE ITS GLITZY new image as the latest hotspot to host a nighttime Formula One … read more >>