Have you ever stopped to think how you prefer to learn?

For most of us, we get conditioned to learn in a certain way when we’re at school but it isn’t always the right style to help you personally learn to best effect.

During the 1980’s, Honey and Mumford developed profiles of different learning styles to help people identify what sort of learners they are – the idea being that this can make learning easier, more effective and more enjoyable. It saves you tackling your learning on a hit-and-miss basis.

Cash piles

There are some astonishing statistics on the amount of cash held by non-financial firms. Around the end of 2013, the average FTSE 100 company held £1.9 billion, US non-financial firms held USD 1.64 trillion, all at record levels. It is worth looking at this from both a corporate finance angle and for what it means for the role of the treasurer.

The Hong Kong experience

When looked at from a Hong Kong perspective, the treasurer’s world is familiar yet has its own preoccupations.

In one sense, sitting on the edge of the world’s second largest economy, with its huge currency reserves, growing middle class and restless political ambitions might well be considered positive for a (relatively) small entrepot economy; on the other hand, dealing with the nuances of an onshore / offshore currency regime, an uncertainty about whether the China boom will last (is that a mainland banking bubble on the horizon?) and rising regional economic and political ten

Subsidised banking products

In the UK it is possible, as an individual, to have a basic bank account for free (as long as you stay in credit). The concept was introduced by Midland Bank in 1984 and was followed by almost all the other providers. The concept was, of course, that free banking would entice customers in and then that provided an audience to sell to. So customers who opted for free banking would use savings products, loans and mortgages, as well as insurance products such as house insurance, endowments, etc. The bank also had access to interest free deposits. The model is

Use and misuse of derivatives

Treasurers are always learning and always having to deal with change in their own firms as well as changes in technology, financial markets, economies, fashion and convention, among others.

Two case studies are presented in this month’s faculty offering as cases of good and bad treasury management and in each case there are lessons for today’s treasurer looking for value in the financial markets and the reduction of risk in their firm.

Case Study 1

Was Asmussen “Whistling ‘Dixie’”?

We hear a lot of material on the Eurozone crisis from an”austerity is part of the problem”, Keynsian, p.o.v. (see e.g. Paul Krugman’s NY Times blogs: http://tiny.cc/9pt5cw).

Jörg Asmussen’s short piece, “Key issues about the crisis and the European response”, (http://tiny.cc/6at5cw), is a summary of the other side, delivered in the US last week.

Current trends in bank relationship management

This faculty often considers the role of banks for the corporate user and borrower, both generally and also from specific aspects of trends in finance.

Corporations cannot do without banks, they are needed for many aspects of business, including money transmission, market making, broking , trade support products, asset finance, bond issuance, M & A, as well as their traditional role as deposit takers and vanilla lenders. They are under particular pressure at the moment from many directions: