El otro blog para cosas más serias

El otro blog para cosas más serias
El otro blog para cosas más serias

miércoles, 27 de abril de 2011

La forma societaria de las empresas financieras ha podido influir notablemente en la crisis

En este post de Yves Smith, se comenta un artículo en The New York Times sobre el hecho de que la pérdida de reputación de las empresas financieras (bancos de inversión) no haya conducido a la reforma sustancial de este sector. El autor considera que los incentivos de los banqueros de inversión cambiaron mucho al convertir sus empresas en sociedades anónimas cotizadas siendo así que, hasta los años ochenta, todas ellas tenían la forma de sociedades de personas (nuestras sociedades colectivas). Esta transformación y el predominio de los “traders” (los que compran y venden valores) respecto de los socios que se dedicaban al negocio transaccional (asesoran en operaciones de fusiones y adquisiciones) tuvieron graves consecuencias sobre el comportamiento de los banqueros:
Partnerships are conservative for two reasons. One is widely discussed: they have unlimited liability. A partner can lose everything. That tends to focus the mind and leads partnerships to be very careful and deliberate as to who they admit into their inner circle and how they monitor non-partner risk-takers. But second is that partnership capital is illiquid. The most likely exit is to extract equity gradually via sale to younger members of the firm. But they aren’t rich; in most cases, they earn their way in via their share of firm profits. Thus the partners are forced to take a very long term view of the value of their franchise. They don’t merely have to get to retirement; they have to do what they can to make sure that the next generation of partnership will be good enough stewards to be able to cash them out.
The end of private partnerships was far and away the most important change. It allowed for the culture to shift to a vastly more short term orientation and also encouraged the firms to use more leverage, which over time shifted the balance of power towards traders (since partnership equity is scarce and costly, pure fee businesses like M&A are prized).

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