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Off the Record

"I would rather invest in a five-times levered company with no refinancing requirement than a two-times levered company that needs to refinance"
A commentator emphasizes just how concerned investors are about the wall of corporate refinancing that has to be tackled over the next few years

"Rating agencies always say that they rate through the cycle. But then they say that no one knows what the cycle is going to be so actually they are going to downgrade you anyway"

A European treasurer expresses his continued frustration with the rating agencies

"It’s always a dangerous thing when a desperate CEO tries to prove his manhood"

A former Citi banker still can’t believe Chuck Prince’s decision to buy a 20% stake in Turkey’s Akbank in January 2007

"It’s the same in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania: if the banks took an honest look at their balance sheet and wrote down what they needed, they’d all be bankrupt. The regulators are happy to look the other way, because what other option do they have there?"

A London-based banker takes a pessimistic view of central and eastern Europe

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