CORPORATE METRICS | PROFITS ARE A STRONG PREDICTOR OF COMPANY HEALTH

Management | Metrics
Corporations and analysts turn to scores of metrics—return on assets, working capital and others—to determine a company’s financial health. Another, the ratio of debt to internal funds, is one of the most widely used benchmarks. But a new study suggests that the debt-to-funds ratio isn’t all that accurate in predicting or explaining default risk.

RATING AGENCIES: S&P SETTLEMENT UNLIKELY TO BRING ANY CHANGE FOR CORPORATE ISSUERS

RATING AGENCIES: S&P SETTLEMENT UNLIKELY TO BRING ANY CHANGE FOR CORPORATE ISSUERS

Trends | Credit Ratings
More than six years after the housing market crashed—dragging the world economy and stock markets down with it—Standard & Poor’s settled in early February with the Securities and Exchange Commission for its alleged part in triggering the meltdown. The price was relatively cheap, as these things go: $1.4 billion with no admission of wrongdoing.

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING FIGHTER CHAIRS KEY VATICAN UNIT

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING FIGHTER CHAIRS KEY VATICAN UNIT

Vatican | Newsmakers
René Brülhart, known as the “James Bond of the financial world” for his high-profile role in cases such as the return of assets from Saddam Hussein to post-war Iraq and the uncovering of the Siemens bribery scandal, has become chairman of the Vatican’s anti-money-laundering unit.

 

INSURERS OFFER LONGEVITY HEDGES TO DE-RISK PLANS

INSURERS OFFER LONGEVITY HEDGES TO DE-RISK PLANS

MANAGEMENT | PENSIONS
As people live longer, many companies are discovering that they have to pay pension benefits to retirees for longer than they had expected. Insurance companies are stepping in with new products that can help take this “longevity risk” out of corporate defined-benefit pension plans.

Norway’s Fund Ups The Ante On Ethical Investing

Norway’s Fund Ups The Ante On Ethical Investing

Norway’s $870 billion sovereign wealth fund has always been at the forefront of ethical investing, and its actions have influenced the decision making of other asset managers, big and small. But starting next year the fund will reveal its voting intentions before shareholder meetings, not only to be more transparent but also to influence the debate and the subsequent voting.