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Quotes of the month

"This is a profound ethical issue. These are very sophisticated operations where the counterparty was not a hedge fund – it was not even a financial institution. Should a grocery chain be selling volatility protection?"
Guillermo Ortiz, central bank governor, lambasts investment banks for entering FX trades with local retailer Comercial Mexicana which led to Mexico’s monetary authority having to raise over $8 billion to cover positions (see Mexico: Ortiz condemns unethical bank behaviour)

"I wanted to pay exactly one quid [£1] but my arm was twisted, and we rounded up to $2"
Nomura’s Sadeq Sayeed, one of the architects of the bank’s acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ European business, on the deal of a lifetime (see Nomura’s great leap forward: Will Lehman takeover help fulfil its global ambitions?)

"The Fitch approach is good. They are now a serious player, and best for covered bonds"
So says a German Pfandbrief specialist. Well, as Fitch is maintaining triple-A ratings, while Moody’s makes severe downgrades, he would say that wouldn’t he? (see Covered bonds: After 200 years, it’s come to this)

"If they didn’t let a bank fail, how were they going to prove there was a serious problem? You kill a chicken to scare the monkey"
One banker gives the best reason we’ve heard yet about why Lehman was allowed to fail (see The week Wall Street capitulated)

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