I read with great interest the changing of hands of stakes in the banking sector. Could this be the final re-emergence of the quiet one when old age, the Panama Papers or the end of an era is finally making the day of reckoning coming close at hand? Even President Raul Castro has to declare that the old guards must now really call in a day and let the young ones chart their own future. There is no greater curse in the world than a few arrogant fools think that they are the only ones who should rule the world and make the world go the way they want it to go. In the end, God is great and all men and women must die.
This post should be short and is at best conjectural. I cannot help myself in trying to put down my feelings on this issue.
Back in the old days when the world collapsed on us as a result of our own economic mismanagement when politicians controlled the finance of the nation and influenced banking decisions, the political decision was to consolidate the entire banking system into ten large banking groups ostensibly to better ensure the ability of banks to withstand major defaults and errors in lending (the banks would call them systemic failure which I think is a silly idea). At one stroke, all the small regional banks were wiped out and growth of the nation consequently was concentrated in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya which thereafter raised the need to solve city congestion problem, the need to build the MRT and the need to impose GST to fund it and other mega projects of the government.
We are now stuck with this PM/FM composite post of national inflation and currency depreciation where the central bank has lost control of the monetary policy and has nothing left but its own sense of authority and dignity. The counterplay between the treasury and the central bank has been lost and the central bank gives up on its independence on the conventional wisdom that the real central bank is the US Fed.
As men and women grow old and they will die even if they do not want to, there is a need for closure and the unraveling of the great matrix of cross-holdings just in case one suddenly dies and the great fortunes lie in the hands of non-family members and the great scam becomes an exercise in futility and foolishness. It is a good time to wrap up for one's progeny.
I was glad to read the suggestion by HRH The Sultan of Johor that Johor must have its own bank to be called the Bank of Johor to fund the development of the state and the funding requirements of its people. I agree. There is a need to revive the presence of regional banks which cater to the financial needs of their respective regions. The CEOs of the big banking groups in Malaysia which are headquartered in KL and Singapore and other major cities would not appreciate the needs of regional centres and their need to grow as the world grows bigger. After the centralisation of banks, I think it is right that the banking policy should be to diversify the ownership of banks and give rise to new regional banks to be established.
One tiny step for the PM/FM to move the nation forward in the right direction.