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Mending a broken market

So, 2009 has started off in a fairly turbulent way despite our wishes for a quieter time. The UK authorities have announced further action to support the banks. The extent of this additional and massive support indicates that the problems within some of the banks were much worse than was apparent in the autumn.

Risk management

Risk management is certainly in the spotlight at present and likely to be so for some time to come. Many have been shocked at the failure of what were considered to be sophisticated risk assessment and management techniques to protect the financial markets from the disaster that has befallen us.

The resources listed below are designed to help members of the Faculty think more broadly about the risks they are managing.

Guide to risk management

Falling foul of currency hedging?

Falling foul of currency hedging? Options, real and financial, are probably part of the answer A common mistake is hedging a two-way economic exposure to a financial price with an outright cash flow hedge of one outcome. Jan Cienski’s article in the Financial Times of January 28 (Polish companies fall foul of currency hedging, see gives us another example.

Constructive in difficult times

Firstly I would like to wish you all a less turbulent 2009. Whilst I am not one for predictions I do believe that we in the treasury profession need to be planning for some unusual times in 2009 and 2010.

I joined the ACT a few weeks ago in a full-time capacity. Prior to becoming Chief Executive I spent many years as a finance practitioner and have been an ACT Member since the membership exams were launched.

Working capital management

The financing of working capital is currently in the spotlight as banks and other lenders, customers and suppliers review their trading relationships and credit risk.

The following articles and guides may be of interest:

Relationships with customers and suppliers

Working capital efficiency

The Treasurer magazine

Cashflow reporting – could do better

That cash is (still) king needs to be high in the minds of companies as company reports are made in 2009.

The Corporate Reporting Users Forum (CRUF) recently wrote to finance directors/chief financial officers appealing for an improvement in the level of cash disclosure in company accounts.

Bank loans for larger companies?

Bank loans for larger companies? Life on Mars says John Grout What are banks for? Recent headlines say the government is concerned to keep credit flowing to consumers and to small businesses. There has been little mention of larger firms.

We are told that, post this credit crunch, the world of finance will have changed a lot: the practice of the years around the turn of the millennium is history. What will financing look like for larger companies? Perhaps, back to the slightly more distant past. I started in this game in the early 1970s.

Managing risk remains key

In these challenging times our members and those taking the ACT’s qualifications are equipped to play a vital part in ensuring that their organisations remain financially resilient. Volatility across all markets remains exceptional and a focus on management of financial – and enterprise – risk can never have been more important. Funding and liquidity management shows no sign of becoming any less critical, with availability and maintenance of credit at the heart of what many of our members are focusing on.


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