By Tony Munroe
When markets boomed, India’s star was shining bright and deals were plentiful, but the hard landing means any recovery will be painfully slow.
“Well insulated” China, though suffering from sharp drops in its own equities markets, doesn’t have the sense of crisis that exists in the U.S., says Philip Partnow, managing director of UBS Securities Ltd in Beijing. UBS, the first Western bank to assume management control of a domestic mainland brokerage, points out the fact that what’s hitting companies is not subprime-related securities gone bad.
Last year the lending business was as frothy as a head on a Guinness beer and many financial firms spent a little too long hanging out at the bar.
Now, says Rob McMahon, managing director for restructuring, financial firms are looking around and trying to figure out exactly what happened, and who can still stand.
“It’s kind of like the drunken sailors. They left the boat to take their weekend leave and now they went back to the boat and they are all talking about what they did and they are realizing after sobering up, “Ok what did you do what did I do? Ok. Oh you are 25 times levered? Yeah really, you think that’s bad? Man i’m 35 times levered.”
Financial firms increased leverage – or debt – in recent years as money became very cheap, and they relaxed lending rules for themselves and their customers.
Now comes the tough part. Figuring out who had so much to drink that they’ll need to check into the financial equivalent of the Betty Ford Center – bankruptcy protection.
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