Rick Moss is concerned but confident. As treasurer of Hanesbrands Inc., a highly leveraged 2006 spin-off from Sara Lee Corp. that needs credit from both banks and the capital markets to survive, he is exposed to the unprecedented financial crisis marked by a vicious credit freeze. But he shrugs it off. "Things have to get pretty bad before people stop wearing underwear," he says in mid-October. Moss is riding out the financial storms pretty well because Hanesbrands has a well-stocked drawer of financial underwear. He points out that it will be three years before he has to renegotiate any of Hanesbrands' bank credit facilities. Some $500 million of bonds rated Ba3/BB- don't mature until 2014. Even the cost of Hanesbrands' Libor-based borrowings isn't a big headache. "We went out over the past few months and swapped $2 billion of our $2.4 billion of debt into fixed rates when we saw an opportunity to hedge at fairly low rates. And another 250 million is in an asset securitization program, so our exposure to Libor is modest," he says.

But that doesn't mean that it's business as usual in the Hanesbrands treasury. "We've re-evaluated how we think about liquidity and how we plan our refinancings," Moss says. "We always go into planning cycles with a best-case scenario and a worst-case scenario. Now we're rethinking our worst-case scenario. We had been planning to do some optional refinancing this year, but it looks now like we'll ride out the market turbulence." He is also investigating a wider range of financing options for $4.5 billion Hanesbrands, based in Winston-Salem, N.C. "It's a lot more work," he says, "but you have to do it."

September was a wake-up call. When the Association for Financial Professionals, Bethesda, Md., sent a survey to its members on Sept. 4 and collected responses by Sept. 16, 48% reported that they enjoyed the same access to short-term credit that they had two years ago. When AFP conducted a follow-up survey between Sept. 26 and 29, 40% said they had less credit available than they had at the beginning of the month. Companies over $1 billion in annual revenue felt the pinch more than smaller companies. And 62% indicated that they had taken direct actions during September because of the deteriorating credit situation. Common actions include moving most or all investible funds to bank deposits (41%), reducing capital spending (37%) and freezing or reducing hiring (22%).

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