11 January 2020

Joseph Yam

Former chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority
  • For finance effectively to serve the economy, there is a need for a fundamental change of culture, which requires close attention by both the financial authorities and the financial intermediaries. Photo: Reuters

    Recommendations for cultural change

    - Jul 24, 2017 12:00pm
    Finance is a service industry that has become self-serving. The consequence, regrettably, is the frequent occurrence of debilitating financial crises that undermine economic growth and development worldwide. For finance effectively to serve the economy, as it...
  • Intermediation spread can be measured by two possible approaches – one from the providers’ point of view, IS(P), and the other from the users’ point of view, IS(U). Image credit: Joseph Yam

    Inter-temporal shift of the intermediation spread

    - Jul 17, 2017 12:55pm
    The important services provided by the financial system in mobilizing money from those who have it to those in need of it obviously are not free. There are costs involved in the provision of the many...
  • Over 95 percent of the turnover in the foreign exchange market for the major currencies represents position-taking by financial institutions and others playing the market for financial gain, according to surveys. Photo : Reuters

    Viewpoints on financial culture: Financial infrastructure

    - Jul 10, 2017 12:00pm
    We are all familiar with the physical infrastructure comprising such important facilities as airports, railways, roads and bridges that allow people and goods to be moved from one location to another safely and quickly. The efficient...
  • Various types of misconduct by frontline traders have been identified in a number of high-profile cases in recent years in developed markets. Photo: Reuters

    Financial culture: Incentive and behavior

    - Jul 3, 2017 12:00pm
    Behavior can mostly be explained by there being underlying incentives or motivation, and obviously the behaviors of stakeholders of the financial system shape the culture within. Some stakeholders are more influential than others, notably the financial...
  • The profits and remuneration for the financial intermediaries, whatever roles are being played by them, collectively constitute a large part of the cost of financial intermediation in the economy. Photo: Reuters

    Conflicting interests in finance

    - Jun 26, 2017 12:00pm
    In the governance of any jurisdiction, the authorities have the overall responsibility of promoting and protecting the public interest, whether it is in the making of policies and their implementation, or in the drafting and passing...
  • Market freedom should not be abused or used as an excuse for inaction by those with responsibility to protect and promote the public interest. Image credit: Investopedia

    The zero-sum game in finance

    - Jun 19, 2017 5:22pm
    I am sure readers are familiar with the general characteristics of a zero-sum game, in which the winnings of players are always matched by losses of other players, and have come across and played in a...
  • Although banks are supposed to be able to manage risks properly, the history of banking suggests that they cannot be left on their own to perform this task. Photo: Reuters

    Transformation, transfer and transaction of risks

    - Jun 12, 2017 12:00pm
    The matching of the different risk appetites of investors with the different risk profiles of fund raisers can be achieved through the transformation, transfer and transaction of risks. Banking, in its fundamental form, involves largely the...
  • Financial stability is important for the economy because disruption to the availability of funding can be very damaging to those running businesses or paying mortgages. Photo: Reuters

    Viewpoints on financial culture: Back to basics

    - Jun 5, 2017 12:00pm
    The public interest in finance Finance is essentially quite a simple area of activity, at least in terms of its purpose. In any economy, there are those with a surplus of money – for example, the...
  • Joseph Yam says the lifestyle of finance is a colorful one, but that colorful lifestyle is ultimately paid for by the community at large, as users of financial services. Photo: HKEJ

    Finance and the modern economy

    - May 29, 2017 12:00pm
    The great leader who embarked on the modernization of China, Deng Xiaoping, once said: “Finance is very important. It is the nucleus of the modern economy”. In saying this, Deng obviously wanted very much to emphasize...