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May 2010

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  • Creating opportunity out of crisis; Transaction cost measurement; Regulation and reducing risk; Algorithmic trading; Arbitrage trading; FX trading moves into the next generation
  • Both as an attractive, highly profitable business for banks and a provider of increasingly vital services for corporate clients, transaction banking is in the limelight. Euromoney speaks to leading bankers in the sector about market conditions and likely prospects.
  • Moscow’s attempt to develop as an important financial centre is at the core of a series of capital markets-friendly legislative changes. Euromoney talks to investors, City of Moscow officials, exchange heads and regulators about progress so far and what is to come.
  • "Yes, but what the fuck have you done to help?"
  • Before it became the lightning rod for public fury over the banking crisis, Goldman always seemed to pride itself on doing things differently. It held itself rather aloof from the rest of Wall Street – an exclusive club to which only the crème de la crème de la crème were invited.
  • "Problems of this sort are rarely confined to one institution; the dotcom era shows us that in the wake of a crisis, business practices which were considered normal at the time can look very much worse with the benefit of hindsight and in a legal setting"
  • Kosovars feel oppressed by high interest rates and suspect a bank cartel. The banks respond by citing the country’s fragile status as a sovereign, making funding expensive and uncertain. Either way, costly credit is an impediment to growth, and widespread corruption adds its own obstacles. Elliot Wilson reports.
  • Foreign and local investors were hard hit when Kenya’s nascent stock market plunged in the wake of the financial crisis, but recent government efforts to woo them back with simplified regulation and enhanced systems seem to be working. Chloe Hayward reports.
  • After the turmoil of the past couple of years, many have been surprised by the amount of deal activity. But, having scaled back during the crisis, they’re finding that local rivals are winning more business. Dominic O’Neill reports.
  • Much out-of-hours competition between investment banks in Hong Kong comes in the drinking dens of Lan Kwai Fung and Wanchai.
  • Garanti’s first place in the CEE companies poll for the second successive year is reflected in its high standing in the capital markets. Other top contenders are similarly favoured. Guy Norton reports.
  • Just when Bank of America thought it had come through the dark days of 2009 Angela Iannelli and Luke enter the fray. Iannelli, a mortgage client of Bank of America, is suing the bank for stealing her parrot, Luke.
  • Lower oil prices and a lack of international finance have given the country the slack it needs to diversify. But will it grab the opportunity or go the way of other resource-rich Asian states? Nick Lord reports from Baku.
  • The economy has gone a double-digit economic boom to a double-digit recession. Guy Norton reports on how the embattled Baltic state is coping.
  • Longmore latest senior FX exec to leave; But UK bank continues to build market share
  • Latvia’s blonde ambition
  • A proposed merger of the EIB and EBRD has received the endorsement of Michel Camdessus, the former managing director of the IMF, and an advisory EU committee he headed. He speaks exclusively to Nick Lord.
  • The results of this year’s Euromoney FX survey suggest that, rather than cement the dominant position of leading banks, e-commerce could offer firms that have lagged behind the chance to catch up. But they’d better do it soon – rich rewards await those that can secure the largest pools of liquidity. Hamish Risk reports.
  • Brian Moynihan is determined to build his big bank, whatever regulators might threaten.
  • Burgeoning sovereign debt is a threat to economic recovery, not a way to achieve it. It will crowd out borrowing for more productive purposes and will inevitably foster inflation and possibly defaults.
  • Technology and emerging markets will be key battlegrounds in FX but success lies in the size of the liquidity pool.
  • For the moment, Goldman will no longer be the safe choice or even the first choice for clients.
  • The revolving door between Wall Street and Washington is not working to the industry’s specifications. Robert Khuzami, former general counsel for the Americas at Deutsche Bank, has been leading the charge against Goldman Sachs over alleged CDO fraud in his new role as head of enforcement at the SEC. And Gary Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs partner, has taken an unexpectedly tough line with the industry over derivatives reform in his position as head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Bank heads could be forgiven for feeling that with friends like these, who needs enemies?
  • The SEC fraud suit against Goldman Sachs has shone a spotlight on the exploitation of the useful idiots at the heart of the credit crisis. Goldman must now hope for similar suits against rival dealers so that it can try to deploy the Murder on the Orient Express defence – the argument that they all did it. But whether or not Goldman is joined in the dock by some of its peers, the industry now faces the most serious threat yet to its derivatives-based trading revenues and a business model of adopting multiple roles in the modern capital markets.
  • The ties that bind sovereign issuers and investors are intricate and complex. With sovereign defaults a real and present danger, they should be untangled before it is too late.
  • Oh the irony. As Euromoney left the executive offices of one of Goldman’s main hubs this week, the image projected on the plasma screen in the elevator could not have been starker. “The world against Goldman Sachs” was the screaming headline of one financial television news channel.
  • As mentioned in a previous column, I am often asked who the market’s rising stars are. So I have decided to feature, from time to time, certain financiers whose careers have momentum and about whom you will hear a lot more in the next few years.
  • No matter how much noise the SEC makes about shutting the door, the horse has already bolted.
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