Topic/Theme Reports

Regional Bank Remarks: Zions, Pin-Ball Wizard – Bouncing to Retail & Resi Mtg


Teaser: Zions Bancorporation’s CEO Simmons and new CFO Paul Burtis, presented at the Deutsche Bank Financial Services Conference. Zions is rebooting its retail and residential mortgage business as commercial and energy related lending takes a back seat with oil-price plunge. Still working off credit crisis hangover from its troubled CDO portfolio and weakened commercial real estate. Another regional bank pin-balling around for growth.

Regional Bank Remarks: HBAN Hunting for Card Growth Again


Regional banks are taking another look at the credit card business as loan yields hit death valley low levels in the commercial sphere, and home mortgage lending still stalled by the GSE conservatorship issues. Many regional banks abandoned the card business in the early years of the 2000s due to stiff competition from national card players. Will this time be different? 

Card Talk: MasterCard - “Card Wars”


Mastercard CEO presented at the Deutsche Bank Global Financial Services Investor Conference where he discussed various strategic views including market share discussions, European competition, expansions into China...

Risk Management Chat: Cyber Security in a Globally Integrated World


Viola Risk Advisors recently had the opportunity to attend the 33rd Annual Monetary and Trade Conference hosted by the Global Interdependence Center (GIC). GIC is a Philadelphia based non-profit which aims to foster dialogue related to global macroeconomic and monetary policy,

Corporate Bond Market: Green Bonds - Crunchy-Granola Finance?


Green Bonds are a new mechanism for guiding funds toward environmentally friendly projects supporting the CFA Institute’s initiatives toward building in ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) standards into the investment process. Still, it may be too early to tell whether this is a unique asset class with additional bond issuance, or just another way to market bonds with a sparkly-ESG attractive wrapper.

Risk Mgt. Chat: Sheila Bair @ NYU, “Club Fed” & “Break-Up Banks” Banter


Viola Risk Advisors recently attended a presentation by Sheila Bair, former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) from June 2006 through July 2011. Currently, she is Chair of the Systemic Risk Council, a policy think tank. Held at New York University’s Stern School of Business...

Risk Management Chat: Shadow Banking – Non-Bank Financial Institutions, Next Black Hole?


In various company discussion forums, we have been following the re-emergence of non-bank financial institutions (NBFI) and its various iterations from the money management and business development company (BDC) worlds.  The NBFI space seems to be a growth area and a revenue center for lenders and rating agencies.  Usually boom exposures lead to bust ratings. 

Risk Management Chat: CRM Panel – Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh My!


Credit risk managers have the daunting task of dealing with various systemic risk issues and the international regulatory bodies that have mandated various requirements.  Concerns range from cybersecurity, “subsidiarization”, stress tests, system liquidity, and risk culture development given the environmental constraints.

Risk Management Chat: “Risk” Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon


Risk conferences have concentrated on risk culture as a key method of mitigating out-of-control risky behavior. Topics have centered on 1) the use of data warehouses to track bad bank/broker operator behavior; 2) the establishment of better corporate cultures focused on risk management; and 3) cyber-security threats and how to detect, control and defend against.

New Corporate Bond Market: BlackRock's Black Ops White Paper


BLK’s co-presenters discussed the following topics in depth including: 1) the inefficient and dysfunctional state of the current corporate bond market structure, 2) a “call to arms” with the buy-side becoming price-makers, not just price-takers, 3) step-by-step recipe instructions to create a more standardized and efficient corporate bond trading system, and 4) other knock-on effects, followed by Q&A.

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