After talking quite with a variety of people around the region, it certainly seems as if there’s a shift afoot. It’s become so fashionable to talk about banks doing The Ostrich over the past few years, that it would be easy to miss the signs of a changing market place.
In fact, whether it’s the Basel III effect, the cumulative effect of loans coming up for renewal or the realization that holding on to real estate assets eventually requires capital expenses, the big freeze seems to be thawing just a bit. There are lots of signs of this, whether you look at the appointment pages, the creation of new funds, the collection of equity for debt funds or the willingness of banks to call it a day with some sponsors.
It’s still but a fraction of what it was, and the geniuses in Brussels look no closer to making any hard decisions. But as we’ll be discussing in the September issue of CIJ, there does appear to be a greater willingness, at last, to start just getting on with it. If you disagree violently, make sure to let us know.