Leader

  • Time for SSAs to be more social

    Time for SSAs to be more social

    Money market investors are beginning to feel left out of the ESG revolution sweeping capital markets. With the coronavirus pandemic bringing social concerns to the fore, the time is ripe for SSAs to show the kind of leadership they have demonstrated in the bond markets.

  • After a decade, why rush GSE reform now?

    After a decade, why rush GSE reform now?

    It can hardly be said that the process of releasing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of government conservatorship has been rushed. The painstaking process has taken place over the course more than a decade and has consumed the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) through two presidential administrations. And yet, FHFA capital requirements proposals published this week for the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) may not go far enough to ensure their safety and soundness.

  • Private credit's struggle to regain swagger

    Private credit's struggle to regain swagger

    Private debt blossomed after the last financial crisis, as European companies grew more sophisticated and sought to diversify their funding strategies away from bank loans and bond markets. But the coronavirus has highlighted its shortcomings, particularly around speed of execution. It may be hard to regain the momentum.

  • Outcome-based financing is here to stay

    Outcome-based financing is here to stay

    It has been a long time coming. Social impact bonds, in which the investor's return is based on the outcome of a social project, were invented 10 years ago. This week, one was issued for the first time by an organisation recognised as a full member of the mainstream European capital markets.

  • A golden opportunity awaits corporates

    A golden opportunity awaits corporates

    Oil major BP printed its debut hybrids this week, defending its balance sheet from the huge slump in oil prices and the ravages of global lockdown. The company lured €20bn of orders a day after writing off up to $17.5bn of assets, proving that if you’re a company with something unusual to bring to capital markets, now is the time to do it.

  • Banks must be held to high standards in public

    Banks must be held to high standards in public

    The green bond market lets investors scrutinise the way issuers use their money, promoting good behaviour. Now, the focus is turning to the middle men: the banks. It is a welcome iteration, given their importance in financing either a green or brown future, but we must push them further.

  • Markets lose touch with reality — thank goodness

    Markets lose touch with reality — thank goodness

    Financial market participants have watched in disbelief this week as asset prices have kept rising, while US cities burn, unemployment breaks records, a global depression becomes more likely and the coronavirus pandemic still rages.

  • Europe is not wasting this crisis

    Europe is not wasting this crisis

    The European Commission has delivered its proposal for an EU recovery fund. It may not be full debt mutualisation nor a solution to low European growth, but it is a huge step forward.

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