WatchTower is always keen to flag up books from the communications community but this one is particularly prescient. With Paul Mason hyperventilating over the seismic shocks shuddering through the VIX curve, Richard Bassett head of Corporate Communications at West LB has co-authored a book Restoring Confidence in the Financial System that doesn?t just analyse how the world got into a financial mess, but makes a very cogent argument for how to avoid doing so again. Central to the thesis is the idea that at the core of much of the toxic debt were levels of leverage that were not immediately discernable. Bassett and his co-author, West LB?s Head of Credit and Fixed Income Sean Tully, make the case for a new measure of risk, See Through Leverage. This has the double attraction of not only being easily understood, but lending itself to the three-lettered acronym so beloved of the capital markets.
Although there is little directly relevant to the communications world, the central theme ? transparency - is one that all PRs will be instantly empathetic with. Transparency is at the heart of sustainable communications and See Through Leverage is an attempt to introduce transparency to debt structuring. ?We believe STL is a reliable way of measuring risk and provides an instrument for restoring confidence in securitisation,? commented Bassett. More importantly it is also a practicable answer.