From the May 2008 issue of Treasury & Risk magazine

What a difference a year can make

Treasury & Risk's May Risk Management Report is a chance for our writers to gather the best thoughts and opinions from finance executives, consultants and other practitioners about the conditions they face in the insurance market and other areas of risk oversight. Last year's report came near the height of the expansions in both the markets and the economy in general, with executive compensation levels climbing ever higher thanks to strong demand (and plenty of cash) from private equity investors. Then came last summer's credit market collapse and new questions about the health of the economy, which continue to dominate discussions. It has long been a mission of this magazine to go beyond headlines and give you fresh perspectives and best practice advice, and the current issue is no different. Our cover story on D&O insurance trends gives a detailed account of the surprising softness in much of that market, which has managed to hold up, in general, against renewed threats of subprime lawsuits. Another feature story examines how credit market conditions have hit corporate financing operations, and what far-sighted treasury departments need to consider when managing covenants and banking relationships. Treasury & Risk has long covered the credit rating agencies, and this month we take another close look at criticisms and frustrations from the corporate finance community. At issue is how the industry and regulators are (or in some cases are not) responding to a further collapse in confidence. These are issues of vital importance to finance departments that will no doubt be debated for months, and in some cases, years to come.

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