Monday, July 20, 2009

US and Kenyan Ibanks/Brokers

The only major difference is that the US ibanks and brokers are for most part listed entities. Otherwise the similarities abound:

  • · Deal-making: primarily done on connection basis. Its only in the US where the govt could create a system like thru TARF and then get the ibanks to advise , consult and run most of it. GS gets a lot of international type of business because it places its alumni into positions of influence in the US govt. In Kenya, D&B pretty much has gotten all the Kibz era GoK IPOs/OFS. It’s no coincidence since Jimnah cultivated the NARC assiduously and still has close connections with the mishmash GoK
  • · Regulatory capture: Regulatory capture is a fancy term for when industry regulators become the dogs that are wagged by the tails they are meant to regulate. Ibanks and brokers set the pace for the regulators in both countries. In good times, ibanks and brokers come up with fancy products and ways of doing things and then ask regulators to regulate them or rivals out of compe. A classic- pal who works with an ibank tells me that in 2007 he approached his his firm’s regulator to get clarification on how the regulator wanted his firm to calculate regulatory capital to be set aside for his firm’s credit default swap business. The regulatory had no clue. Apparently, reporting requirements on SIVs and SPVs were to start this year! At the NSE, CMA has been used to keep compe in or out of the NSE. BBK’s application to list a bond in 2003/4 was refused but agreed to last year when NSE needed the business. Look at the tied agent system being introduced. Its retrogressive in that most countries no longer use it. Its meant to keep out compe given the product is only one-Access to shares at the NSE-
  • · No boundaries between business and politics: NSE has remained a protected enclave despite the scandals et al because of its symbiotic relationship with the GoK of the day. Even in the 80s when no Kikuyu business was immune from m-o-1’s pruning ways, the NSE remained intact and reached its highs in the early 90s. Two or three CEos of ibanks/brokers have actually stood as MPs. Eerily, most of the big changes have taken place in an otherwise very friendly environment. Expect this to continue. In the US, it is absolutely no coincidence that Hank Poulson oversaw the decapitation of 3 of the top 5 ibanks during his short stint’s as Treasury Secretary. Goldmans Caschs got $12bn from AIG’s rescue and is the main beneficiary of the demise of its 3 rivals especially in fixed income. Hank Poulson is immediate former CEO...@ Goldman Sachs.


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....what more can one say?

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