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[经济学人] [2007.08.09]Prime movers

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发表于 2010-4-29 03:16 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
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Prime movers
何去何从


Aug 9th 2007
From The Economist print edition


Beware the fragile relationship between prime brokers and hedge funds
警惕机构经纪与对冲基金间的脆弱关系

(机构经纪是指为机构投资者—特别是对冲基金—提供结算、保管、融资及股票借贷等服务的证券经纪商。           …………译者注)

THERE is a paradox at the heart of the financial markets. And that paradox is playing a key role in the continuing tumult. It is commonly assumed that the growth of hedge funds has dispersed market risk. In particular, credit risk has been packaged up and resold. When bad debts occur, the pain is spread far and wide instead of focused on the high-street banks, which hold the deposits of ordinary consumers. The result should be a more robust financial system.
    金融市场的核心存在着一种矛盾。这种矛盾在一直持续的混乱中居主导地位。特别在信用风险已经被打包并转售时,人们普遍认为对冲基金的增长分散了市场风险。因此当坏账发生,恶劣的影响不仅仅局限在拥有大众储户储蓄的高街银行,而是更广泛更深远地波及到了其他领域。我们应有一个更强的金融系统。

At the same time, however, financial regulators have been looking for ways to keep tabs on the fast-growing hedge-fund industry. They are naturally keen to avoid a repeat of 1998, when the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) prompted a liquidity crisis. Many regulators have decided they can keep in touch with hedge funds by monitoring the activities of the prime brokers that serve them.
    然而,与此同时,金融调整专家一直关注着快速增长的对冲基金业。他们致力于避免重蹈98年的覆辙,当年,长期资本管理的崩溃引起了一场流动性危机。许多金融专家决定监督服务于对冲基金的机构经纪的活动,借此来追踪对冲基金的信息。

This makes sense. After all, prime brokers provide the finance that allows hedge funds to gear up their returns and lend them the stocks so they can sell individual shares short (ie, gamble that their prices will fall). And monitoring is made all the easier because three investment banks—Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns—dominate prime brokerage. The trio act as brokers for about 60% of hedge-fund assets.
    这种做法收到了效果。毕竟,机构经纪提供一种金融方式,这种金融方式使对冲基金获利更高并给予配股,使对冲基金可在一定条件下发行个人股票(例如股价降低)。并且,有三大投行(Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bear Steams)管理机构经纪人使监督工作变得十分简单。

But this is where the paradox appears. Hedge funds are supposed to be dispersing risk. But if their chief financiers are just three Wall Street banks, is this dispersion more apparent than real? Could banks have shown risk out of the front door by selling loans, only to let it return through the back door of prime broking? Take credit insurance. Banks that own corporate bonds may use the swaps market to hedge against a company defaulting. But if the other side of the swap is taken by a hedge fund whose finances are dependent on loans from that same bank, has risk really been transferred?
    但这正是矛盾之所在。对冲基金是被期望能够分散风险的一重投资活动。但如果主要金融活动者仅局限于华尔街银行,这种情况是否就不太现实了呢?银行先以出售贷款的方式展现风险,而这仅仅为了以后通过机构经纪业挣回来吗?以信用保险为例。拥有公司债券的银行运用交换市场来避免公司欠债。 但如果公司利用对冲基金交换,而对冲基金依靠的正是该银行的贷款,那最终承受风险的还是银行。

The prime-brokerage arms of investment banks also face a number of potential conflicts of interest. The trading desks of those banks will be operating in the same markets as the hedge funds and often taking the same positions.
    许多投行的机构经纪人同样面临着一系列潜在利润冲突。那些投行的交易平台常将对冲基金放在同样的市场中进行运作。

This is hardly surprising; many hedge-fund managers have previously worked on trading desks and will be using systems developed at their old employers. But it creates the opportunity for banks to trade against their clients' interests. As became clear in the fallout from 1998, banks that were aware of LTCM's loss-making positions had a real advantage.
    这没有什么好奇怪的,许多对冲基金经理人之前就在交易平台工作,他们愿意使用自己的员工系统。但这增加了银行交易与客户利益冲突的几率。随着98年长期资本崩溃的余波越发显著,那些明白长期资本失去市场地位的银行吸取教训,获得利益。

Of course, prime brokers say they go to great lengths to keep themselves separate from their trading desks. Still, most hedge funds are sufficiently suspicious to maintain links with several brokers, so that no single firm is aware of all their positions.
    当然,机构经纪声称他们自己与交易平台保持着很大的距离。然而,大多数对冲基金能否与他们的机构经纪保持距离还是令人怀疑,所以,没有任何一家公司完全了解他们的地位。

In some ways prime brokers may also act against the interests of their own parent banks. At the moment, brokers are trying to rein back the funding they provide to the smaller and weaker hedge funds. This is quite natural, given the recent problems in credit markets. The brokers may have been pledged collateral against their hedge-fund loans but, as Merrill Lynch recently discovered in its dealings with two Bear Stearns hedge funds, it may not be possible to sell that collateral for anything like the current market price.
    某些情况下,机构经纪的运作可能会跟他们所属银行的利益相抵。这时,机构经纪会收回他们提供给较小,较弱的对冲基金的贷款。这非常正常,类似最近信用市场的问题。机构经纪可能会以抵押物担保对冲基金贷款偿付,但是,就像Merrill Lynch最近在解决Bear Stearns的两笔对冲基金贷款时遇到的问题,这些抵押物不可能以现行的市场价格售出。

However, taking away credit from hedge funds means they have to sell assets. And that may hurt the trading desks of the investment banks as prices fall. It may also hurt the syndication departments and bond-sales desks—the divisions that peddle the debt the banks have underwritten. Without hedge funds to buy the bonds or loans, the risk may end up back on the banks' balance sheets.
    然而,分散对冲基金风险意味着资产的售出。 这可能会打击投行的交易平台,致使价格下降。同时,也可能打击企业联合组织部门和卖出债券平台,这是一个卖出银行认购贷款的部门。

The fundamental problem is the nature of market liquidity. When hedge funds are doing well, prime brokers are happy to lend them money; in turn, the use of geared money by hedge funds drives up asset prices. (Although some funds will take short positions, the industry normally has a net long position.)
    关键问题是市场流动性的来源。当对冲基金表现良好,机构经纪乐于贷款;然而这必将导致资产价格的上涨。(虽然一些基金只是短期占据主导,但这一领域通常是长期主导的。)

But when prime brokers turn off the funding tap, this virtuous circle may turn vicious. Hedge funds may be forced to sell their most liquid holdings since more complex positions may be impossible to offload. So a problem in one part of the financial system, such as American subprime mortgages, can quickly become a global issue. As Richard Bookstaber wrote in his recent book, “A Demon of Our Own Design”: “Trying to control the risk ends up creating the liquidity crisis.”
    但当机构经纪停止贷款,良性循环就会变成恶性循环。对冲基金可能会被迫卖出大部分的流动持有股份,因为有更多复杂的情况难以应对。所以金融系统某部分的一个问题可以很快变成全球性议题,像美国次级抵押贷款。正如Richard Bookstaber在近期出版的书中所言:“我们自己造成的恶果:尽力控制风险避免资金流动危机的产生。”

The financial system will probably survive this sell-off: the global economy looks resilient enough. But the market turmoil may be a dress rehearsal for the real crisis that will emerge when the economy is in poorer shape.
    金融系统将会可能以廉价策略来维持运作:全球经济有很强回升趋势。 但是,市场的混乱可能预计着一场真正的危机,当经济形势再趋恶劣,这场危机就会来临。
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发表于 2010-4-29 03:46 | 显示全部楼层
allows hedge funds to gear up their returns and lend them the stocks so they can sell individual shares short
使得对冲基金得以放大回报,并借给他们股票,使他们能够卖空个股(赌股价下跌)

e three investment banks—Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns—dominate prime brokerage. The trio act as brokers for about 60% of hedge-fund assets.
三大投行主导了机构经济领域,他们但当了60%的对冲基金资产的经纪人。

Could banks have shown risk out of the front door by selling loans, only to let it return through the back door of prime broking?
银行通过出售贷款展示了,风险从前门离开银行,不料又通过机构经纪的后门回来了

Take credit insurance. Banks that own corporate bonds may use the swaps market to hedge against a company defaulting. But if the other side of the swap is taken by a hedge fund whose finances are dependent on loans from that same bank,
持有公司债券的银行在互换市场中对冲企业违约的风险。不过如果互换协议的另一方正是依靠同一家银行的贷款来融资的对冲基金,

The trading desks of those banks will be operating in the same markets as the hedge funds and often taking the same positions.
这些银行的交易柜台将与对冲基金在相同的市场中运营,并且通常建立相同的头寸。

developed at their old employers
他们的前雇主

anks that were aware of LTCM's loss-making positions had a real advantage.
知道ltcm亏损的头寸的银行享有很大的优势。。
这些银行与ltcm建立了相反的头寸,什么叫墙倒众人推。。落井下石。。

Still, most hedge funds are sufficiently suspicious to maintain links with several brokers, so that no single firm is aware of all their positions.
大多数对冲基金对此十分怀疑,他们与多家机构经纪维持联系,因此单独一家公司不会知道他们的全部头寸。

The brokers may have been pledged collateral against their hedge-fund loans
经纪人可能已经将对冲基金贷款时的抵押物质押

However, taking away credit from hedge funds means they have to sell assets
从对冲基金中收回信贷意味着他们要出售资产

And that may hurt the trading desks of the investment banks as prices fall.
随着其价格的下跌,这会伤害到投行的交易柜台

the divisions that peddle the debt the banks have underwritten. Without hedge funds to buy the bonds or loans, the risk may end up back on the banks' balance sheets.
叫卖银行承销的债务的部门。没有对冲基金来购买这些债券和贷款,风险可能会回到银行的资产负债表中。

nature of market liquidity
流动性的本性

Although some funds will take short positions, the industry normally has a net long position.)
虽然有些基金建立空头头寸,不过行业总体通常是净多头

Trying to control the risk ends up creating the liquidity crisis.”
试图控制风险,最终却创造了流动性危机

survive this sell-off:
在此次抛售潮中存活
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