Tue, 27 Mar 2007
From: The Jakarta Post
By Urip Hudiono and Andi Haswidi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Indonesia's banking sector must improve its risk management capabilities to avoid a repeat of the 1997 economic crisis, a former Australian prime minister and treasurer says.

Paul Keating said giving up government ownership in commercial banks, developing more sustainable lending markets fitted to the local retail and consumer economy and opening itself to international best practices were among the efforts the Indonesian banking industry could take up.

Addressing the Asian Bankers Summit as a distinguished keynote speaker in Jakarta on Monday, Keating said the government should refrain from owning stakes in commercial banks, which only creates unhealthy risk management within the industry, and could eventually jeopardize the state budget.

He said the government should instead allow banks to operate freely in taking up public funds from deposits and lending the money out on any opportunities and margin rates, as long as they stay within a strictly enforced regulatory framework set down by the central bank.

"What does a country need a banking system to do? It needs banks to help grow the economy, to lend for consumption, for housing and for small businesses. That's their primary service.

"What matters is not whether governments own banks or not, but that the central bank is able to run an effective monetary policy, regulate lending rates and banks' credential requirements such as capital reserve ratios, etc. The central bank does enjoy these powers now, therefore there seems to me no point in government owning banks," he said.

Keating, who during his term as prime minister, laid out reforms to further deregulate Australia's financial sector, said the danger of state-owned banks was that their managements always assumed the government would step in if they found themselves in trouble.

"This in the end creates bad habits in the banking system, like bank lendings just to grow business but reduced in quality. And when tougher times arrive, those lending decisions start to bite back against the bank and the budget.

"So if you've got private capital in banks, the better off you'll be as banks will be more careful about risks. When bank managers are responsible for their own capital, they're generally more careful about the quality of their loans," he said.

The Indonesian government currently has controlling stakes in Bank Mandiri, Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) and Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN) -- the first three being among the country's top four lenders by assets.

Bank Indonesia wants to consolidate the industry into fewer banks from the 130 at present, but President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has mentioned the need to maintain certain state banks for strategic sectors.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla has criticized state banks for not providing more loans to the real sector.

Keating said if the government wanted investments in particular sectors, it should go through specialized institutions such as development banks.

"A development bank is different from a private bank. It knows it's doing things in unchartered territory that it would not do commercially, and knows capital committed might be lost," he said.

Tue, 27 Mar 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by chewwyUK
Ahhhh Keating ... I miss that guy.

Tue, 27 Mar 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by KuKuKaChu
 Originally Posted By: chewwyUK
Ahhhh Keating ... I miss that guy.

are you bear-baiting?? :)

Tue, 27 Mar 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by chewwyUK
Not at all kuku ... I think anybody who saw Paul Keating in action would agree. I may have been a young pup while he was under bob and then prime minister but I have to say I thought he was great.

I know he has never been popular but I liked him

Tue, 27 Mar 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by KuKuKaChu
 Originally Posted By: chewwyUK
Not at all kuku ... I think anybody who saw Paul Keating in action would agree. I may have been a young pup while he was under bob and then prime minister but I have to say I thought he was great.

I know he has never been popular but I liked him

i happen to think he was australia's greatest PM. others disagree with me :) yeah, he was an arrogant son of a bitch. that's one of the reasons i liked him, actually ;)

Tue, 27 Mar 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by chewwyUK
Keating Quotes:

On John Howard ...

"I am not like the Leader of the Opposition. I did not slither out of the Cabinet room like a mangy maggot..."

"What we have got is a dead carcass, swinging in the breeze, but nobody will cut it down to replace him."

"For Mr Howard to get to the high moral ground, he would first need to climb out of the volcanic hole he had dug for himself over the last decade. It is like one of those diamond mine holes in South Africa. They are about a mile underground. He would have to come a mile up to get to even equilibrium let alone have any contest in morality with Kevin Rudd."

To a Uni student protesting about fees:

"Go and get a job!"

On The Press:

"You (Richard Carleton) had an important place in Australian society on the ABC and you gave it up to be a pop star...with a big cheque...and now you're on to this sort of stuff. That shows what a 24 carat pissant you are, Richard, that's for sure"

On the Liberal Party

"The Leader of the Opposition hurls all sorts of abuse at me, and all through question time those pansies over there want retractions of the things we've said about them. They are a bunch of nobodies going nowhere."

"Where you all come aguster is, over here we think we're born to rule you. And let me tell you this, it's been ingrained in me from childhood, I think my mission in life is to run you."

"You were heard in silence, so some of you SCUMBAGS on the front bench should wait a minute until you hear the responses from me."

I ask you .. what's not to love!

Fri, 30 Mar 2007
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
The Keating Quotes made me think that the UK has an even better "Elder Statesman"!

Yup, the Queens "Consort" Prince Phillip is the very best when it comes to making a right royal cock up...

Here are a few of the best!

1) After accepting a gift off a Kenyan native he replied "You are a woman aren't you?"

2) After the Dunblane massacre : "If a cricketer decided to go into a school and batter people to death with his bat, are we going to ban cricket bats?"

3) "If it has four legs and is not a chair, has wings and is not an aeroplane, or swims and is not a submarine the Cantonese will eat it"

4) Told a student from Brunai how sorry he was that the student had to fly to Glasgow.

5) On a World Wildlife Fund visit he refused to touch a Koala bear as "It will be riddled with ghastly diseases"

6) Welcomed former German chancellor Helmut Kohl as 'Reichskanzler' The title Hitler gave to himself and has never been used since.

7) Suggested locals were cannibals on a visit to Papua New Guinea by asking a British student "You managed not to get eaten then?"

8) Asked a wealthy Cayman Islander "You're all descended from pirates aren't you?"

9) Asked a Scottish driving instructor "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough for them to pass"

10) Told a group of deaf school children at a fund raising event standing next to a Jamaican steel drum band "Deaf? No wonder you are deaf standing so close to that racket"

11) On a visit to China he described Peking as "ghastly" and said that if you stay too long there you will become "slitty eyed"

12) Told a student in Budapest that "You can't have been in Budapest that long because you haven't got a pot-belly"

13) In India visiting a site where the British army in the years of the Empire had slaughtered Indian civillians, He was shown a plaque commemorating the 2000 killed to which he quipped "No, no, we didn't slaughter that many"

14) Told a mother who had recently lost two sons in a house fire that "smoke alarms are a damn nuisance"

15) On a visit to a large factory he told a group of workers that a fuse box "looks like it has been put in by an Indian"

* In 1996 he caused an outcry among gun law reformers when he said: "There's no evidence that people who use weapons for sport are any more dangerous than people who use golf clubs or tennis rackets or cricket bats."

* The Prince angered local residents in Lockerbie when on a visit to the town in 1993, he said to a man who lived in a road where 11 people had been killed by wreckage from the Pan Am jumbo jet: "People usually say that after a fire it is water damage that is the worst. We are still trying to dry out Windsor Castle."

* He said of Canada: "We don't come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves."

* At the height of the recession in 1981 he said: "Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed."

* In 1966 he provoked outrage by saying: "British women can't cook."

* Commenting on stress counselling for servicemen in a TV documentary on the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, he said: "It was part of the fortunes of war. We didn't have counsellors rushing around every time somebody let off a gun, asking `are you all right - are you sure you don't have a ghastly problem?'. You just got on with it."

* Personal remarks have annoyed singing stars. In 1969 The Duke said to Tom Jones after the Royal Variety Performance: "What do you gargle with, pebbles?".

* At a private lunch given 30 years ago he said he thought Adam Faith's singing was like bath water going down a plug hole.

* Prince Philip's joke to a blind girl at an award ceremony: 'A blind man walked into a pub and swung his guide dog around his head by the tail. He told the barman 'I'm just having a look around'.'

* Prince Philip on his daughter, Princess Anne: 'If it doesn't fart or eat hay, she isn't interested.'

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