Is the Asian boom ultimately helping the shift from NYC to London?

I just landed a few hours ago at London Heathrow, back from Singapore. I hadn't been in Asia for business purposes since January 2007, although I traveled around APac in December 2008 for holidays, and I must admit that I have been quite surprised by how much has happened since that time.

I saw many new fashion stores such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and high end, luxury, mechanical swiss watch stores. So it appears that a lot of money must be flowing into the LVMH, PPR, Richemont, Swatch and other luxury brands and help boost these companies based in France, Italy and Switzerland.

One thing that surprised me as well, is the major push on credit cards that the banks in Singapore are doing. Everybody seems to be holding 3 to 5 credit cards, and many many discounts and vouchers are available at stores provided that you pay with such and such credit or debit card. One could wonder whether the boom is hence propelled by credit cards (and maybe other kinds of credits) and hence question the sustainability of the boom in Singapore (and also ask whether it is the same everywhere in Asia Pacific or not).

Finally, one thing that I realised, is the difficulty of working within the financial markets industry, across regions as soon as you want to work with Hong Kong, Tokyo or Singapore: the time difference with New York is 12 hours, so there's absolutely no overlap between the working hours in Asia and NYC. In London, on the other hand, there's about 4 hours of overlap with Asia in the morning, and about 4 hours with NY as well, in the afternoon. This means that it is a lot easier to manage, lead and plan from London when your organisation has to be in all these regions. So ultimately, it might be that London will become the main financial hub/centre, and this would happen despite all the destructive policies that governments have been implementing, and thanks to the Asian boom.

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