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February 16, 2010

Asian Banks After the Crisis

Lauren Frasca '10
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The new issue of the Chazen Web Journal — our second in 2010 — highlights several stories that echo a larger discourse currently affecting millions around the globe: the economy’s intersection with regulation. Two recent forums explored the issue with views on the banking industries in Japan and China.

In December, the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics and the Center on Japanese Economy and Business hosted the panel “Why Was the Financial Crisis Less Enduring in Japan and Other Countries…This Time Around?” Adrian Almazan ’10 reports on the panel’s discussion of Japan’s banking history and exposure to risk, and how reform and regulation in Japan’s financial sector helped set the country apart during the recent economic crisis.

Almazan also reports on the China Business Initiative’s forum, which took place in October and featured Ma Weihua, president and CEO of China Merchants Bank. Weihua gave his insights on the globalization of the Chinese banking sector and how the government’s use of regulatory measures may have helped China avoid a more severe impact from the current crisis.

Mr. Ma compares the current industry dynamic to a marathon race: Those runners that once led the pack have fallen down, and the Chinese banking industry has an opportunity to sprint to the front. One of those potential sprinters is Mr. Ma’s own China Merchants Bank (CMB). CMB began 20 years ago with RMB 100 million in capital and a single office of 36 people. Today, CMB is a national commercial bank listed on both Shanghai and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges. CMB has net capital exceeding RMB 100 billion and total assets approaching RMB 2 trillion, with a network of 700 outlets and employee headcount of 37,000.

This issue also features an interview by James Walsh ’10 with Professor Ray Horton about the defining political events and trends that have shaped — and continue to shape — the world’s economy. In addition, Brian Hindo ’10 shares a discussion with Professor Gita Johar on the application the “4Ps” of marketing to the world’s the poor.

Read more in the February issue of the Chazen Web Journal

Photo courtesy of Chazen Institute