Financing Innovations and Capital Structure Choices
16 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2008
Date Written: 1999
The last two decades have seen a stream of innovation in financial markets, especially in the corporate bond arena. Some of these innovations were designed to give firms moreflexibility in designing cash flows on borrowings, allowing them to match up cash flows on financing more closely to cash flows on assets, thus increasing their debt capacity. These changes have been for the most part good news for corporate treasurers, but the relentless torrent of innovation has also resulted in some firms issuing these new and more complex securities for the wrong reasons. Some have done so to keep up with other firms in their peer group, and other to take advantage of loopholes in the way ratingsagencies and regulatory agencies define debt and equity. In this context, it is worth noting that as corporate bonds have become more complex, investment bankers oncemore become indispensable to the process, proving both pricing and selling support. It is important that firms recognize when complexity serves their interests, and when it can end up hurting them.
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