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外资银行期待全球救市计划

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开始于美国的金融危机散播到了全球很多角落。现在美国的救市计划看来也在走向全球化,那是一个筹集费用并且加强国会和评论监管的行动。

在一开始被排除在救市计划之外的外资银行在周末游说成功,得到了与美国的银行相同的待遇,可以向美国财政部出售由美国分部所持有的有害的美国抵押贷款债务。

周日,美国财政部长保尔森出现在了多个清晨对话节目中声明于周六公布的原计划的内容已被进一步扩展。“对外资和美国企业不进行区别对待是这个计划的特征,”他在福克斯新闻台的采访中说道。

消除救市计划锁定后的前景解除了萦绕在像巴克莱银行和瑞士银行等海外银行执行总裁们头上的乌云,他们的美国附属机构都持有与抵押贷款相关的有问题资产。而原计划仅为在美国成立的任何金融机构提供申请7000亿美元援救金的渠道。

随着时间推移,有些言论引起了财政部的担心,人们讨论着外国机构在美国资金市场也担任着大雇主和主要选手的角色。在周六晚上,官方言语已更改为允许在美国的任何金融机构进行重大业务运作。

正当保尔森在争论上达成协议时,布什政府也正在倾向于让外国政府根据需要加入到他们自己的救市计划中来。“我们拥有一个全球性的金融市场并且我们正在积极地与世界上的其他国家进行磋商,鼓励他们来做同样的事情,我相信他们当中的很多都会这样去做的,”保尔森于周日发表言论说。

一名欧洲官员说道,该要求预期会在周末晚上预定7国财政部会议上得到讨论。

允许外资银行加入到联邦拯救包中这一计划还没有得到国会的全面审查,国会中的包括康涅狄格州民主党人士参议员克里斯托弗多德在内的大批立法者承认,成百万的美国市民都在同瑞士银行、苏格兰皇家银行和美国的很多其他外资银行产生着千丝万缕的经济联系。

但是很多立法者对此抱有谨慎态度,如此一场扩张可能会使情况更加恶化,最终华尔街援助计划可能会耗资1万亿美元。

“我对救援计划持怀疑态度,整个账单也就仅仅停留在几页纸上而已,”金融服务委员会成员,新泽西共和党人代表斯科特盖瑞特说道。对于外资银行的加入,盖瑞特先生说:“我对此表示担忧,他们可能应该被区别对待,但是国会却没有据此发表任何言论。”

机构风险分析公司执业业务股东克里斯托弗瓦伦说道,保尔森先生需要证实为什么这样一个广泛的救援计划是符合国家利益的。

“你能想象美国国会为德意志银行或者瑞士银行提供救援金吗?那应该是德国或者瑞士政府的责任,”他说道。“我们不应该来对他们进行救援。”

在美国政治家们一再强调海外银行所带来的益处时,到底什么是一家欧洲或者美国银行的定义随着全球银行巨头——汇丰银行、巴克莱银行和德意志银行等的成长在近年来变得日益模糊。

例如,随着2001年对美国信孚银行的并购,德意志银行成为了美国一线的银行“玩家”。它账面登记的次级贷相关投资超过了110亿美元。

同时,巴克莱银行正在行动购买拥有158年历史并已于上周申请破产保护的雷曼兄弟公司北美事业部的大部分股权,以此帮助消除逼迫华盛顿政府开展救市行动的全球金融危机。

据业内及政府官员称,那些在美国设有银行分部的欧洲外资金融机构可以极大优先地获得资金援助。

他们讨论得出如果得到合法认证美国外资银行被排除在援助系统之外,华尔街和美国政府的信誉将会遭受难以预计的损失。

“谁还会到美国来开银行?”参与该项讨论的一家欧洲一线银行高级管理人员问道。

同时,欧洲政府到底会以怎样的姿态对待美国财政部鼓励设立国家计划来解决他们自身庞大的抵押贷款问题这一提议仍是难以估计的。随着那些同美国房地产泡沫一起成长起来的本国泡沫的破裂,使英国、西班牙和爱尔兰的房地产市场尤其受到了重创。

其他政府也正在忙于控制近几年来的财政预算赤字。例如德国政府就不鼓励对这样一个刺激包进行讨论,而英国政府周日表示他们不会像美国一样来运作这项计划。

纽约梅隆银行总裁罗伯特凯利说,全世界的中央银行人员都将可能来审查美国救援金提案。“我会认为每一位财政部长都在专注着美国正在发生的事情,试图假定这样做所产生影响,并且思索着联邦政府和财政部使用的工具,”他说道。“当这些工具有朝一日也在欧洲启用时我将不会感到惊讶,或者说我正期望事情会这样发生。”#p#分页标题#e#

如果该计划在国会得到批准并且写入法律,那些在美国获得运营许可且在抵押贷款类证券中遭受巨大损失的欧洲银行将会从中受益匪浅。

瑞士银行业巨头——瑞士银行是世界上受打击最重的机构之一;它的主席和总裁都留下了超过400亿的账面债务。不但如此,粗略计算由于受困的美国房地产市场,它还存在200亿的潜在债务。

如果对于是否让外资参与的战争持续在国会上演,这其中的瑞士银行可以用来平衡这些争论。位于苏黎世的银行巨头官员指出瑞士银行雇佣了超过30000美国员工,并在纽约股票交易所挂牌上市,拥有两家依据美国法律注册成立的券商——瑞银证券和瑞银金融服务公司,他们的前身潘恩韦伯集团在美国颇有名气。

“这些就是工作在纽约的美国人,”由于美国的计划仍在讨论中,该名高管要求匿名接受采访。“而他们正在为一家在美国进行合并的银行工作。”一名资深华尔街高管说道他相信该提案将适用于其他通过美国合法授权的机构。例如,瑞士信贷银行并购了以前的第一波士顿公司,虽然这个名字已经多年不用了。他说道,被提起讨论的最大问题是什么证券将被包括在救援提案之内,而购买他们的实际机制应该怎样运作。

在亚洲,购买有问题资产的计划在周末有了小小反应。总的来说,亚洲银行并没有在美国抵押贷款证券进行巨额资产投资。

银行业者说,在亚洲更大的问题在于美国的立法将会对汇丰银行产生怎样的影响,该家大型英国银行在亚洲拥有着重要业务运作。该银行美国分部在过去十年里是一位抵押贷款的大买家,并且在手中持有大量的抵押贷款,而并没有试图把它们重新打包作为抵押贷款债券进行再销售。

汇丰银行发言人理查德琳赛称,资深的管理仍然估计出了目前的状况并且说这是向前发展的积极的一步,但是它将并不能解决这样一个完全失衡的行业的问题。

译文:Foreign Banks Hope Bailout Will Be Global

The financial crisis that began in the United States spread to many corners of the globe. Now, the American bailout looks as if it is going global, too, a move that could raise its cost and intensify scrutiny by Congress and critics.

Foreign banks, which were initially excluded from the plan, lobbied successfully over the weekend to be able to sell the toxic American mortgage debt owned by their American units to the Treasury, getting the same treatment as United States banks.

On Sunday, the Treasury secretary, , indicated in a series of appearances on morning talk shows that an original proposal introduced on Saturday had been widened. “It’s a distinction without a difference whether it’s a foreign or a U.S. one,” he said in an interview with Fox News.

The prospect of being locked out of the bailout set off alarm bells among chief executives of overseas banks whose American affiliates also hold distressed mortgage-related assets, like and . The original text provided access to the $700 billion bailout for any financial institution based in the United States.

As the day wore on, some raised their concerns with the Treasury Department, arguing that foreign institutions were both big employers and major players in the American capital markets. By Saturday evening, the language had been changed to allow any financial institution “having significant operations” in the United States.

While Mr. Paulson has agreed with that argument, the Bush administration is also leaning on foreign governments to pitch in with bailout programs of their own as needed. “We have a global financial system and we are talking very aggressively with other countries around the world, and encouraging them to do similar things, and I believe a number of them will,” Mr. Paulson said on Sunday.

The request is expected to be discussed during a conference call among finance ministries scheduled for Sunday evening, a European official said.

Allowing foreign banks to participate in the federal rescue package has not yet drawn widespread scrutiny in Congress, where a number of lawmakers, including Senator , Democrat of Connecticut, have acknowledged that millions of American citizens do business with UBS, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and many other foreign-based banks in the United States.

But a number of lawmakers are wary that such an extension may worsen what could ultimately turn out to be a trillion-dollar bailout for Wall Street.

“I’m skeptical of the bailout, the whole bill is only a couple of pages long,” said Representative Scott Garrett, Republican of New Jersey, who is a member of the House Financial Services Committee. As for the participation of foreign banks, Mr. Garrett said: “I have a concern with it, they probably should be treated differently, but Congress is really not getting any say.”

Christopher Whalen, a managing partner at Institutional Risk Analytics, said that Mr. Paulson needed to justify why a wider bailout was in the national interest.

“Can you imagine the Congress floating a bailout for or UBS? It is the responsibility of the German or Swiss government,” he said. “We shouldn’t be bailing them out.”

While politicians in the United States may emphasize the benefits for banks based overseas, the definition of what is a European or American bank has blurred in recent years with the growth of global giants like , Barclays and Deutsche Bank.

Deutsche Bank, for example, became a major player in the United States with its acquisition of Bankers Trust in 2001. It has written down more than $11 billion in investments linked to the subprime crisis.

Barclays, meanwhile, is on course to buy a significant portion of the North American operations of Lehman Brothers, the 158-year-old firm that filed for bankruptcy protection last week, helping to set off the global financial panic that forced Washington to act.

Gaining access to the relief was a top priority for European foreign financial institutions with banking operations in the United States, according to officials in industry and government.

They argued that the reputation of Wall Street and the United States government would suffer immensely if properly licensed foreign banks in the United States were shut out of the system.

“Who would open a bank again in the United States?” asked one executive of a major European bank who has been following the discussions.

At the same time, it was unclear how much European governments would bow to the Treasury Department’s encouragement to set up national programs to deal with their own vast mortgage problems. Real estate markets in Britain, Spain and Ireland have been particularly hard-hit as their own housing market bubbles — which grew in tandem with America’s — have collapsed.

Other governments have struggled to get budget deficits under control in the last few years. The German government, for example, has discouraged talk of a , and British officials said Sunday that they were not working on a plan like that of the United States.

Robert Kelly, chief executive of the Mellon, said the central bankers around the world would probably be scrutinizing the American bailout proposal. “I would expect every finance minister is looking closely at what is happening in the United States, trying to hypothesize what the impact will be, and is thinking about the tools the Fed and Treasury have used,” he said. “I would not be surprised, and probably expect, some of those tools to be used in Europe as well.”

If the plan is approved in Congress and is signed into law, the benefits would be large for European banks with licensed operations in the United States, which incurred major losses from mortgage-linked securities.

UBS, the Swiss giant, has been among the hardest-hit institutions in the world; both its chairman and chief executive left amid more than $40 billion in write-downs. Even so, it still retains roughly $20 billion more in potential exposure to the troubled American housing market.

If a battle does develop in Congress over foreign participation, UBS, among others, is poised to make just these arguments. Officials at the Zurich-based giant point out the bank employs more than 30,000 Americans, is listed on the , and owns two broker-dealers registered under United States laws, UBS Securities and UBS Financial Services, better known to Americans as the former Paine Webber unit.

“These are Americans who work in New York,” said one executive who requested anonymity because the American plan was still in development. “And they are working for a bank that was incorporated in the United States.” One senior Wall Street executive said he believed that the proposal would apply to other institutions with regulated American entities. , for example, includes the old First Boston Corporation, though that name was dropped years ago. He said the biggest issue being debated was what securities would be included in the proposal, and how the actual mechanism to buy them would work.

In Asia, the plan to purchase distressed assets drew little reaction over the weekend. Asian banks generally have not invested significant assets in American mortgage-backed securities.

The bigger question in Asia, bankers said, lies in how the American legislation will affect HSBC, the large British-based bank with significant operations in Asia. The bank’s American subsidiary was a large buyer of mortgages over the last decade, and kept many of these mortgages on its books instead of trying to repackage and resell them as mortgage-backed securities.

Richard Lindsay, a spokesman for HSBC, said that senior management was still evaluating the situation and said it was a “positive step forward but it won’t solve the problems of an overleveraged industry.”

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