S&P report on putting today's credit market risks in perspective

The generally benign economic and financial conditions of recent years are beginning to change, albeit not yet to a degree that clearly signals a major shift in the financial landscape. Some market participants are speculating that the difficulties in the U.S. subprime mortgage market may yet spill over into other markets and lead to a more general deterioration in credit quality, according to a report published today by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. The report, titled "Putting Today's Credit Market Risks In Perspective," discusses how the global markets have grown such that they are now less vulnerable to general liquidity scares triggered by isolated disruptions.

"The prevalence of mark-to-market accounting, credit-default swaps, and other tools of modern finance allows risk to be repriced quickly as conditions change," said Standard & Poor's Managing Director Mark Bachmann. "But paradoxically, this rapid repricing also tends to aggravate short-term instability," he continued.

The risk-management and liquidity practices of large financial institutions and industrial corporations obviously do not protect them fully against volatile exposures. But these practices have improved enough that the investment-grade companies we rate generally have the systems and skills to identify potential threats to their solvency and isolate the effect of such threats.

(This is the press release of Standard & Poor's)

Moody's update on sub prime exposures of US banks... Click here
Asian banks now occupy a stronger position ... Click here

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