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Tag >> europe
Sep 18

Europe follows US path on derivatives clearing

Posted by nicklord in RiskeuropeDodd-Frankderivativescompliance


Companies in Europe have been largely spared being forced to clear all their derivative contracts on centralized exchanges. New regulations announced last week by the European Commission on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories largely focused on financial firms. But there was a significant space devoted to corporate users of derivatives.

The new regulations will create three categories of non-financial derivatives user: those who do not need to inform the authorities about their derivatives exposure; those that will have to inform the authorities but can still clear their trades OTC; and those who are such heavy users of derivatives that they will have to behave like banks and trade them on exchanges and have the contracts centrally cleared.

Aug 11

Bank risk management needs improvement

Posted by dbedell in risk managementrisk analyticsRiskeuropecounterparty riskbank failures


Bankers in Europe are not confident in their risk management practices, according to a recent study by Oracle.

The study of 450 financial services and IT professionals at European banks found that almost half of respondents reported that they lacked confidence in the accuracy of counterparty and risk data that they used for risk analysis-a disturbing figure given the ongoing financial concerns in the region.

Jul 19

European bank stress tests: much ado about nothing

Posted by mcole in stressRiskeuropecomplianceCashCapitalBanks


The European banks stress tests will be released this week, and while they may slightly bolster confidence among investors, they likely won't fix troubled banks for the long term.

The release on July 23 will focus on 91 banks, with three main groups that are the focus of attention: the German Landesbanks, the Spanish Cajas and the Greek banks.

Jun 18

Multinationals still face challenges in centralizing cash

Posted by dbedell in SEPAPayment Services Directive, liquidity management, europe, cash management, cash concentrationCash


As US multinationals look to make the best use of cash, they continue to work on centralizing cash and liquidity management processes in either global or regional hubs. For those that choose a regional hub approach, it used to be quite an easy decision on where to place that hub for European operations: in one of the tax-advantaged centres of Belgium, Ireland or the Netherlands.

Hundreds of cash management hubs from corporates as diverse as GM, Caterpillar, Procter & Gamble, Exxon and Coca Cola were set up in these countries since their inception to make use of the tax advantaged status. However, in 2003 that status was revoked by the European Commission, and the final deadline for the end of all tax breaks from the hubs is set for December 2010.

Jun 10

Bankers and investors diverge over Greece

Posted by Ron F in RiskGreeceglobal economyGermanyfinancial crisiseurozoneeuropeEU, ECB, defaultsbailouts

Ron F

Corporate banking professionals are less pessimistic about Greece's financial condition than investors are, according to surveys by Bloomberg and by our editorial partner, the Benche, a website sponsored by the Swedish bank, SEB.

According to the Benche, half of its registered members, who work primarily in corporate banking, say Greece will fail to make timely payments of interest and principal on its debt.

Jun 09

Europe’s banks face funding drought

Posted by nicklord in UKspainPortugalNetherlandsIrelandGermanyFranceeuropebondsBanks


It has been almost seven weeks since any European bank issued senior unsecured bonds in the market. Partly to blame is the rapid rise in spread levels, which over that time have increased by 50 bps to 100 bps for double AA-rated banks in Northern Europe and by much more for their cousins from Southern Europe.

But an equal cause of the drought has been the EU-wide guarantee schemes that individual countries set up from October 2008 in the wake of Lehman Brother's collapse. Many of these schemes were due to end last year but they have been extended. Reports suggest that Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Hungary are likely to extend their guarantee schemes beyond June 30th. France Italy and the UK are likely to let their schemes lapse (although the UK allows the government guaranteed bonds issued by banks to be refinanced until 2014).

May 26

Global banks, global problems

Posted by Ron F in unemployment, Riskjoblessnessfinancial crisisFederal ReserveFannie Maeeuropeeconomydemanddebtclimate changeCareers/ManagementbubblesBanksBanking

Ron F

Before I get to the news (which involves the problems of European banks), let me bury the lede and offer up a bit of perspective. Yes, that's totally bass ackwards, but indulge me for a few grafs. (Hey, this is the web.)

We've recently gotten grief from friends here and there about being too negative about the economy. So we've been doing our damndest of late to ensure a "balanced" approach, seeing the glass half full as often as empty, so to speak, or walking on the sunny side of the street in addition to the shady one. You get the picture. Well, sorry, folks, but sometimes reality won't budge.

May 07

What's the problem with the ECB?

Posted by Ron F in inflationFederal ReserveEuropean UnioneuropeEuro areaeconomydemanddefaultdebtBanking

Ron F

I really don't understand what the Times means when it says the European Central Bank lacks certain powers that the Federal Reserve has.

Yes, the ECB lacks the Fed's dual mandate: The ECB's mission is price stability alone, not that plus full employment. Nor does it have access to a government treasury. But what practical effect does any of this have? None that I can see.

May 06

It's not Greek to us any more

Posted by Ron F in Timothy GeithnerGeithnerfinancial crisisEuropean UnioneuropeEuro areaeconomydemanddefaultcareer/managementbondsBanksbanking reformbailouts

Ron F

The violent backlash against the rescue plan that Europe has come up with for Greece should be a warning sign for those who think the bond market should rule public policy.

Yes, Greece must get its act together in terms of the black market and corruption, and tighten its belt on public finances. It simply has no other choice. But austerity isn't going to help the country repay its debt, not when the global economy continues to suffer from weak demand.

Feb 25

Are naked swaps making the E.U. crisis worse?

Posted by Ron F in RiskRegulationfinancial crisiseuropederivativesdefaultscredit default swapcomplianceBanksAIG

Ron F

This article about the role credit default swaps is supposedly playing in exacerbating the Greek debt crisis called to mind a number of Bloomberg pieces on how the same phenomenon was at work in the corporate debt market prior to the credit crisis.

The thing is, neither the Times story nor the Bloomberg ones contained any hard evidence that speculation in such swaps was raising borrowing costs. Yes, spreads on the derivatives themselves widened in both cases, but there was no sign in either, at least in the reports themselves, that spreads on the bonds themselves were also widening.

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