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Opinion

Quotes of the month

“I suspect eventually it won’t be management who decide whether HSBC is based in the UK or elsewhere. It will be the major shareholders who will consider the cost of being in the UK, the return on equity and whether that justifies the investment that they have made in the company”

Mike Geoghegan, outgoing chief executive of HSBC, on one of the biggest issues facing his successors

 (see Mike Geoghegan: the final interview)

“This is not the way it works. The private sector needs to be consulted at a very early stage, and part of the process of judging debt sustainability is a highly consultative and cooperative process for resolving a debt restructuring and determining on what terms it will take place”

Bill Rhodes, veteran of several of sovereign debt restructurings, criticises some of the terms of the EU’s new European Stability Mechanism

(see EU sovereign debt: Bondholders should bite restructuring bullet)

“It’s very important that the question of national interest is raised. Politicians who don’t ask that question do not understand what operating exchanges are really here for. If we cannot deliver more national interest by this merger then we should not do it”

Magnus Böcker, chief executive of the Singapore Stock Exchange, understands the sensitivities of his bid for its Australian rival

(see Magnus Böcker: Sweden’s merger master turns his talents to Asia)

“What puzzles us is why governments should have preferred access to the capital markets in this way. Why are we now saying that governments are a better risk than all other issuers, no matter which country? It seems a little odd”

Jens Lundager, of Denmark’s economic ministry and like many of his countrymen, cannot understand why Basle III rules consider Club Med countries’ debt a safer bet than his own country’s 200-plus year old, default-free covered bond market

(see Basle III: Denmark hits a covered wall)

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