Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping


Attend any given conference on shipping, particularly maritime finance, and you will hear, and see, many presentations, accompanied by PowerPoint, predicting a recovery some time in 2013. Read some articles in the trade press, and you will learn that “cash-rich Greek shipowners” are heavily invested in second-hand and newbuilding-resale purchases, notwithstanding ominous economic and market signs. Continue reading

Goodbye to all that

The shipping industry has been dependent on borrowed money for as long as anyone can remember. It’s the way things have worked since the start of the post-World War II boom. The growing prospect of a global “credit famine”, however, may change all that. Continue reading

The Greeks have a word for it……

“Cataclysm” is, like most words of its type, of Greek derivation. A Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, told us nearly 2,500 years ago that one thing above all was certain: “all things change”. Continue reading

Oversight, assessment of risk and management: please don’t shoot the regulators

Do you recognize the name Oswald Grübel? Mr. Grübel was until recently CEO of the Swiss Banking Group UBS. Continue reading

A down to earth lunch with looming doom Larry!

I have a friend (let’s call him Larry, though that’s not his real name) who is a well-known lawyer specialising in ship finance in the States. Of a pronounced gloomy worldview, as befits his Polish heritage, he was one of the few skeptics I know who warned of a gathering economic storm, back before the Lehman Brothers collapse. Continue reading

Worse to come for shipping

The true state of the world economy was shown on August 1, with the release by JPMorgan of a series of indicators making up the global manufacturing purchasing managers’ indices (PMI). Continue reading

Why shipping stays offshore

A small article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal brings back memories. In the article, John Coustas, CEO of container operator Danaos Corporation, reflects on the things that went wrong. Continue reading

What do oil spills, piracy and the Greek crisis have in common?

There are at least three “received truths”, as one of my college professors sarcastically called them, that, in the world of shipping, may be open to challenge. One is that last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion had nothing to do with the rest of the shipping industry, being only about wells and rigs — and not ships Continue reading

Decisions, decisions…..

I know a shipowner who is fond of observing: “I have never had difficulty making decisions. Or mistakes.” As all shipowners know, regulatory requirements change. So does the market. Continue reading

POSIDONIA REFLECTIONS: The true meaning of ‘lingering doubts’

A visit to a Greek shipowner’s yacht is a characteristic feature of Posidonia, Greece’s iconic shipping jamboree, held every two years in what a local banker calls “the cradle of democracy and denial.” Continue reading

keep looking »