Commentaries

The EC bank smackdown

October 8, 2009

Dexia and ING’s recent decisions to call some of their subordinated debt has puzzled market observers, as they seem to fly in the face of the European Commission and its crusade on burden-sharing for banks that have received state aid.

Consumers still have a lot of wood to chop

October 7, 2009

What with unemployment climbing, housing as well as equities still well below their peaks and general anxiety about when the economy is going to rebound, it’s good news that consumers are cutting back on credit after binging for years. But Josh Shapiro, economist at MFR Inc, is not impressed.

The EC bank debt riddle

October 6, 2009

The European Commission seems to enjoy messing with bankers’ and investors’ heads in its crusade against subordinated bank debt.

Four Seasons debt odyssey – still one more year to go

September 30, 2009

Four Seasons Healthcare, the UK care home operator, has finally completed its 1.5 billion pound debt restructuring, after a year of creditor wrangling. The group has ended up in the lap of lenders including RBS, which owns about about 40 percent of the company.

Bond market not convinced by M&A boom

September 29, 2009

Investment bankers shouldn’t pin their hopes on a surge in mergers and acquisitions activity. That’s the message from the bond market in a recent survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Good hybrid crack

September 11, 2009

It’s interesting to see the Irish government seems to have been keeping a close eye on the hybrid debt fiasco, as it is now embracing the securities as a way to ensure the country’s banks don’t get an easy ride offloading dud property loans to NAMA, its bad bank scheme. I guess you could call it a form of payback.

Anyone for cov-lite?

September 7, 2009

In our post-credit crunch era of avowed simplicity and rigorous credit analysis, you’d have thought that bond investors would be demanding tougher terms than ever to finance high yield companies.

A dark horse for financial innovation

August 27, 2009

Financial crises tend to spark innovation, and this one will be no different.  Today’s Times of London carries a story on a new security Lloyds Banking Group is devising to raise capital and reduce its participation in the British government’s asset protection scheme (GAPS).

Bernanke: Back to Clark Kent

August 11, 2009

Having averted a disaster, cartoon superheroes typically revert to their bland civilian identities. With the recession loosening its grip, Ben Bernanke is trying a similar trick.

Kingman to go private

July 28, 2009

John KingmanSo John Kingman is leaving UK Financial Investments “in due course” to spend more time with the private sector. That, at least, is the line put out by Robert Peston, the BBC reporter who could sometimes be confused for his personal press officer, on his blog.