This research material discusses the scenario prevailing in the Global economy and provides a glimpse on the effects of the global financial crisis and the significant measures taken under the theme of 'God's Global Governance'
If we look back at the events that led to the crisis, we see that the signs of this economic slowdown were evident well before the actual onset of the real crisis. After months of concern about the exposure of financial institutions to US subprime mortgages, in July 2007, Bear Stearns prevented clients from withdrawing cash from a fund that had lost billions of dollars. In August 2007, short term lending dried up after BNP Paribas suspended three investment funds worth €2 billion because of exposure to US subprime mortgages.
In 2007, while I was raising funding through a syndicate of banks of US$350 million on the very same day when Bear Stearns refused to liquidate the fund, I wondered whether there could have been an impact on the debt procurement. Subsequently, I was interviewed by CNBC Europe and was asked about the property market in the Gulf region. I stated that the sector was going through a correction and could take a blow in the near future. I proved to be right and within the next 6 months the property market took a downward hit.
In September 2007, emergency funding was provided by the Bank of England to Northern Rock as it struggled to secure borrowings elsewhere. In December 2007, the Bank of England cut interest rates amid signals of an economic slowdown. In March 2008, JP Morgan bought Bear Stearns for £120 million, valued at £9 billion just one year earlier. In June 2008, Barclays Bank announced plans to raise £4.5 billion by issuing 1.6 billion new shares.
I was in New York in September 2008 to attend the Emerging Markets Conference, organised by J.P. Morgan. As I walked down the busy streets of New York from my hotel, I glanced around to look at the tall building of Lehman Brothers. It was, of course, the time when cracks were starting to be visible in the world's financial economy. But nothing could prepare me for the shock I felt one month later when I saw that Barclays Capital was now in the place where Lehman Brothers once stood.
A 159 year-old institution,one of the largest financial services groups in the history of the world, had collapsed and had turned a legacy of trust and experience to one of unethical corporate governance. It is hard to believe that such an institution had indulged in undue leverage for years before the issue came to light.
Ethical global governance was in dire need. I remember the same day when I dined with H.E. Yousef Hussain Kamal, Qatar's Minister of Economy and Finance and the Honorable Qatari Ambassador to the United States, and we assessed the gravity of the situation. Across the globe consumer confidence was being displaced by distress. The public private partnership model was being critically evaluated and solutions sought across the world of economics.
Since the Lehman Brothers collapse, the world has witnessed huge liquidity strains and customers have started withdrawing their core deposits. Trust in public private institutions was demolished, and banks across the globe were skeptical about lending to each other. In Europe,USA, Asia and the Middle East, financial institutions were distrustful.That is when governments the world over recognized the Importance of establishing consumer confidence in public financial institutions. Governments were providing capital and supporting liquidity; guaranteeing customer deposits and interbank transactions. Hedge fund holders of private equity were disinvesting from foreign markets as the home market was under strain and the flow of hot money stopped. Even in the GCC contraction of customer deposits, a liquidity strain was visible in local and regional banks.
In September 2008, the U.S. government seized control of the American International Group Inc., one of the biggest insurers in the world, in a US$85 billion deal that laid bare the intensity of the danger that a collapse could pose to the financial system.
In September 2008, the US Treasury stepped in to rescue Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two companies which guaranteed half of all US mortgages. Again in September 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and became the first major financial institution to collapse since the start of the credit crisis. In October 2008, the British bank Bradford & Bingley was nationalized by the UK government, however its deposits and branch network was sold to Abbey National, owned by the Spanish Bank Grupo Santander.
In October 2008, a package was introduced by the Iceland Government to save its banking sector, and nationalize Glitnir Bank by acquiring a 75% share in the bank.
In spite of having come out with profit results earlier, H.E. Yousef Hussain Kamal, Qatar's Minister of Finance called for all the local Qatari banks to estimate the dividend payout forecast in November 2008 in order to take stock of the situation. The Qatar Government then came out with an extraordinary measure of infusing capital and taking a stake in all the banks. It stabilized the markets, which where almost 40% down. It was truly a calculated measure with expert forecast and a highly commendable initiative.
When Citigroup was put to test it was an extraordinary revolution of risk-weighted capital stress. The global market deflection and the subprime put an enormous burden on the capital adequacy of Citigroup and resulted in TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Programme) funds from the government. The share price collapsed to less than a dollar and management reorganization took place to restructure the institutions and to reinvent this global financial conglomerate.
In December 2008, Madoff's Ponzi scheme rocked the world. In this case, global governance and global transparency were again challenged. Where was corporate governance? The transparency was questioned. In corporate terms, due-diligence must always be taken before Investing. This is also applicable for lending. infrastructure creation and overall global governance had failed. It meant that disclosure principles had failed, which also meant there was no way for the public to trust financial institutions.
It was a question of selling your name, selling your credibility and trying to garner the maximum mobilization of investments. The Madoff case was an absolute fraud. The issue remains whether individual institutions that had invested had done their due-diligence in terms of crisis-functional risk management. The question was whether risk management measures were not scientific enough in listed institutions. Individuals and institutions had lost. People or institutions that had lent money had incurred a great loss.