Global ABS: The struggle to stay on message
Last month’s Global ABS conference in Cannes was shaping up to be more of a wake than its usual annual party as things in the market went from bad to worse in the first quarter this year. But speakers at the event in June were (not surprisingly, given what they do for a living) determinedly upbeat about the market’s prospects. "We come to praise Caesar, not to bury him," declared Clifford Chance’s Kevin Ingram in the opening panel.
When asked to sum up where the market stood in three words, panellists strove to infer optimism and confidence that the market will recover. "New credit paradigm" was David Basra of Citi’s contribution, and "Lifting itself up by its bootstraps" came from Faisal Ahmed of UniCredit (six words rather than three for added emphasis). Things continued in similar vein with "Traumatized, healing and hopeful" from Philippe Tromp of FSA and even Lee Rochford of RBS’s "The good, the bad and the ugly" had a "good" in it. But the memo seemed not to have reached Deutsche Bank’s Ganesh Rajendra, who – perhaps with rather more honesty than was strictly required – declared "Sell, sell, sell!".