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A Dictionary of Finance

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Businessmen in shorts getting naked

If you’ve wondered what a naked short sale is, here is the long and short of a practice that’s often looked at askance by financial traders: short selling. Sandeep Dhawan came on A Dictionary of Finance podcast to talk about shorts. He explained how naked short sales work, as well as how covered shorts work, and mentioned that short sales are often seen as somewhat immoral, even though they are legal. “Shorting should be natural activity,” says Sandeep, who works in the Treasury...

Duration: 00:12:51

Capital markets: Loud, aggressive guys versus virtual markets

Equity and bond markets collectively are known as the capital markets. The capital markets are mechanisms for raising capital, transforming savings productively into investments, so that companies can produce goods and services for the economy. We get the low-down on how the capital markets work, in a discussion that lays out exactly how technology has changed the traditional image of a bunch of traders yelling at each other on the floor of a stock exchange. Sandeep Dhawan came on A...

Duration: 00:34:44

What can Tom Cruise tell us about Treasury operations?

Collateral is more than just a fairly good Tom Cruise movie. It’s also a Jamie Foxx movie… Actually, what we’re really talking about on our podcast this week is financial collateral. This kind of collateral has become more and more important since the financial crisis, because it reduces the risk to lenders that they’ll never get their money back. Peter Balaz came on the podcast A Dictionary of Finance to talk about how the use of collateral—and the markets that have grown around it—have...

Duration: 00:25:22

Bioeconomy and circular economy

On episode 14 of A Dictionary of Finance podcast, Paulina Brzezicka told us all about equity stories and credit stories. In fact, she did it so well, we brought her back to tell us about the bioeconomy and circular economy on our latest episode. Both are buzz words in commerce just now, so we wanted to make certain we knew what they were really all about. Paulina, who’s an advisor in the Innovation Finance Advisory Division at the European Investment Bank, says that most consumers will...

Duration: 00:08:38

Economic Models: A bit like Lego...

We asked two experts, How do economists use economic models? The answer: to project current data into the future. Lots and lots of data. Economic models help economists understand how things work by reflecting things that can’t be observed directly and by projecting forward Natacha Valla and Georg Weiers came on the podcast to talk about how economists use models—as well as to give us specific examples of how the European Investment Bank used a model to figure out the impact of the...

Duration: 00:28:21

Why is investment important? And where?

Investment has been neglected in Europe since the financial crisis a decade ago, according to the European Investment Bank’s annual Investment Survey. But what effect does that really have? To answer that, first we back up and ask: What is investment? Why does it need to keep increasing? Investment is the acquisition of goods that are used in the production of other goods and services. Those goods and services are used to produce something in the future. Still, the definition of investment...

Duration: 00:29:01

Climate finance key to world’s future

Climate change is a vital issue for the future of the world, and climate finance is key to confronting it. You get the lowdown on this supremely important subject on the European Investment Bank’s podcast A Dictionary of Finance this week. We interview Nancy Saich, senior technical advisor in the EIB’s Environment, Climate and Social Office, and Martin Berg, investment officer in the Infrastructure Funds and Climate Action division of the Bank. Nancy starts with definitions of climate...

Duration: 00:27:43

Green bonds

Green bonds ensure that an investment addresses climate change, the degradation of environmental systems, or biodiversity loss. When Aldo Romani developed the first Climate Awareness Bond ten years ago for the European Investment Bank, he wanted small investors to be able to participate, so a commitment of as little as EUR 100 could buy a piece of that issue. Now the green bond market is USD 200 billion and it has “captured investors’ imaginations,” Aldo explains on A Dictionary of Finance...

Duration: 00:29:25

Environmental finance

How to turn nature from a charity case into a sustainable asset class. Environmental finance uses financial tools for the good of the environment, working to determine the right price for the use of environmental resources and who should pay for them What if we extended our outlook from the next quarterly results to the next few centuries? We would most likely find that the true cost of natural resources used in various commercial activities is not represented in most cost-benefit...

Duration: 00:29:28

Quasi-equity, hybrids and mordern art

Quasi-equity and hybrids raise financing for different kinds of companies without diluting their equity holders. How does that work? Quasi-equity is a contingent and participating loan, meaning that its profits are contingent on the success of the company and that it participates in the risk and the potential upside. A corporate hybrid bond has characteristics of equity and debt, so that some of the bond can be accounted for as equity on the company’s balance sheet, keeping its credit...

Duration: 00:26:20

Smart city finance

Smart city finance is based on an integrated smart city plan, in which a range of technological innovations are used to create a better city to live in. At least, that’s what smart city finance should be about. Sometimes cities think they’re smart, because they’re using lots of technology. But they aren’t truly smart until they create an overall vision for the smart city. Smart cities go beyond the “wired city” or “intelligent city” by including a comprehensive plan, says the European...

Duration: 00:26:35

Digital Economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The DIGITAL ECONOMY consists of all the transactions carried out over digital infrastructure or using digital technologies, including e-commerce. In fact, anything with an “e-” in front of it is part of the digital economy. It’s not just Facebook and Amazon, but even traditional companies that are part of the digital economy. The FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION represents the shift in business to an increasingly digital form of operations. Swedish company Assa Abloy was a traditional...

Duration: 00:25:25

Impact Investing: Do good and make money

If you wanted your money to help society, you used to be limited to giving it to charity or refusing to invest in “sin” businesses, like gambling. But companies are figuring out ways to make good deeds profitable with an investment approach called impact investing. Allar and Matt are joined on the podcast by Uli Grabenwarter of the European Investment Fund, who explains how considering the benefit a company has on society can actually be profitable.

Duration: 00:12:59

Capital adequacy and leverage ratios for dummies

Ahh, Switzerland – the land of cheese, chocolate, and… banking regulation? While you may not associate the alpine nation with strict rules on financial institutions, if you come across speakers of Financese, you will hear about the Basel committee. From what we gather, the Basel rules have become the agreed way of doing things. What things, you might ask? Risk management things mostly: measuring capital adequacy, leverage ratios, etc. To help us sort out everything, we are joined once...

Duration: 00:25:12

...and the equity lived happily ever after

On this week’s episode of ‘A Dictionary of Finance’, Matt and Allar learn about credit stories and equity stories. As it turns out, these stories are a little different from your average bedtime fare – in fact, it is critical that bankers and other financiers not fall asleep while you tell them your story! We find out that (we’re simplifying here) pension fund managers are more likely to enjoy a story beginning with “Once upon a time…”, while angel investors, not surprisingly, would much...

Duration: 00:22:50

Risk, Monopoly, and a game about banking

Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. And do not play Monopoly, if you want to learn about finance. Instead, play a game that Vincent Thunus, head of regulation and best banking practice at the European Investment Bank developed to teach interested high-school students in Luxembourg about what kinds of risks banks (and thereby, its shareholders and clients) may face, and what banks need to do to manage those risks. So we invited two other colleagues, Sophie and Chris, to sit down with us...

Duration: 00:28:29

Venture capital: The good kind of disruption

A Dictionary of Finance discovers that venture capitalists aim to make their money through innovative companies that ‘disrupt’ the way things have been done before. Venture capital is risk capital that finances innovation. Risk capital is used to finance innovative companies that a typical bank would think too risky. If you want to set up a bakery, your local bank will probably be able to predict whether it will be a success or not. If it’s a yes, they’ll lend you the money to rent a...

Duration: 00:21:43

Financial engineering: Engineers without hard hats

Financial engineers don’t wear hard hats, even though some of the stuff they figure out is so complicated it might at first feel like a punch in the head. Don’t worry. Our expert explains how financial engineers work, in terms that anyone can understand. Financial engineering is the application of mathematics to financial questions, typically using computer models. Thomas Ribarits, who heads the European Investment Bank’s financial engineering division, explains what financial engineers...

Duration: 00:23:22

Microfinance: Honey, they shrunk the loan size!

In this episode of ‘A Dictionary of Finance’ podcast we invited Per-Erik Eriksson, head of inclusive finance at the European Investment Fund, and Hannah Siedek, impact microfinance investment officer at the European Investment Bank, to explain to us what microfinance is. We hear stories from sub-Saharan Africa, where Hannah used to work, about borrowers who, barefoot, would be intimidated by the freezing cold, air-conditioned buildings of traditional banks, and wouldn’t dare to go in. But...

Duration: 00:27:55

Finance law: ‘Yank the bank’ and other legal ploys

We invited European Investment Bank lawyers Maria Cerrato, Tom Nguyen, Kinga Soltész and Matthias Brzezinski together again to reveal some of the legal ruses used when things don’t quite go as planned. We learn what harmless-sounding phrases like ‘to the best of my knowledge after due inquiry’ really mean. And what ‘the data room’ is - a place, typically, with no natural light, a place in which no-one really wants to end up. We find out how to ‘yank the bank’ and what a ‘drop dead clause’...

Duration: 00:21:20

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