June 21, 2015

AustCham in Shanghai and the 30 May 2015 SIIFC Forum

  My name is Jeff Schubert. I recently authored a “White Paper” for AustCham in Shanghai on the future development of the Chinese financial sector, which was publically launched by the Australian Treasurer, Scott Morrison, in Shanghai on 26 February 2016. See: http://www.austchamshanghai.com/application/files/6414/7097/8626/Australian_Financial_Services_Business_in_China_EN.pdf Prior to this I was research consultant to the “Shanghai Institute of International Financial Center (SIIFC), Shanghai University of Finance and Economics” — and I gave presentations reporting on the results of my research on behalf of SIIFC at their May 2014 and May 2015 annual Forums. Both Forums were very Chinese affairs (I was the only foreigner at the 2014 Forum and one of only two at the 2015 Forum) which began with set speeches in the morning, followed by afternoon formats which allowed for […]
December 12, 2015

Sydney IFC, Lucy Turnbull, and bizarre CIFR research.

A research paper, financed by Australia’s CIFR (“Centre for International Finance and Regulation”) and prepared with the – clearly ultimate – purpose of promoting Sydney as an International Financial Centre (IFC), was presented at a Sydney seminar on 8 December. The authors made the bizarre suggestion that the NSW State Government “focus on initiatives that drive population growth” so that Sydney can become a more important IFC. More precisely, they suggested that Parramatta (a suburban area of the larger Sydney geographical region) be more closely incorporated into the Sydney CBD (central business district) area to contribute to building a “mega” city that could be more highly ranked as an IFC. The authors of the report, somewhat strangely, began their presentation with a video clip of […]
June 21, 2015

What is the future of Hong Kong?

I have been reading a thought provoking paper by Sue Lyn Stubbs on the future of Hong Kong as an IFC, but which is also highly relevant to Shanghai. She suggests the planned creation of “The China Network” IFC (which would include Shanghai) rather than any one city dominating the East Asia region and time zone (as London and New York dominate theirs). Stubbs is optimistic about the future of Hong Kong as an IFC. She puts up a good argument, but I think she is WRONG! In my view, Hong Kong does NOT have a great future. Moreover, China will seek to reduce the role of the English language and English based common-law in the international financial system. The […]
May 23, 2015

HSBC headquarters

Where should HSBC locate its headquarters? Following HSBC’s threats to move it headquarters from London, I sent out a survey to over 1000 email addresses, and 25 responded (a response rate of 2.5%). Half (ie 13) of who responded were HSBC clients. For many people (particularly those who were not clients of HSBC) the survey was not at all interesting. One sent back an email saying that he would not be completing the survey, and tartly commented on the issue of HSBC headquarters location: “Do you think we care?” The overwhelming majority of people who completed the survey worked in the “banking, finance, investment” or “professional services” sectors. The geographical locations of respondents were: Middle East (7); Australia (6); SE Asia (4); […]
February 5, 2015

What is an “international financial centre” (IFC)?

An early 2007 report, entitled “Sustaining New York’s and the US’ Global Financial Services Leadership”, prepared by McKinsey & Company noted in the Executive Summary that while it “considers a broad definition of financial services – including retail and corporate banking, securities, and insurance – it focuses primarily on US competitiveness in the securities and investment banking sectors, where competition among global financial centers is most intense”. The US has a very large economy and much of New York’s huge amount of financial services activity will relate to that economy. However, the above quote from McKinsey implies that there are certain areas (eg securities and investment banking) where activity may be more or less than what one would expect given […]
February 4, 2015

General Criteria for Success

Sometimes the conditions for the formation of today’s top IFCs happened organically and largely because of the related domestic markets (eg New York); sometimes the conditions were a combination of originally organic growth because of the related domestic market combined with luck (ie common language and legal system with its successor) and then sure-footedness (eg London); sometimes a combination of being an international trade hub, luck (ie language and legal system) and sure-footedness (eg Hong Kong and Singapore); and sometimes as a very conscious and precise government decision (eg Dubai).