During this current credit crisis, it makes sense to pay attention to ways to bank risk as well as investment and multi currency risk.
Eleven US banks have failed in 2008, seven of them since mid July.
Now a Warren Buffett owned insurance company has stopped insuring bank deposits above the federal $100,000 guarantee. This withdrawal of insurance shows that many insurers and bankers are worried about future bank failures.
One of many reasons I have banked with Jyske Bank (beyond the fact that they are multi currency experts) for many years is their strong safety ranking.
I like the fact that Denmark has ranked high in Moody’s and other country ratings as one of the safest countries in which to bank.
However, recently one Danish Bank had problems.
Thomas Fischer at Jyske Bank sent me this note in July 2008:
“Hi Gary, I just want to keep you informed that this morning Roskilde Bank (a Danish regional bank) had to ask the Danish Central Bank for support. It is the 9th largest Danish bank and it has been hit hard as it has been involved in the Danish real estate market. The share dropped 45% this morning. Some other smaller regional banks have seen their share prices falling between 10-20%. Jyske Bank has dropped 1.3% The Central Bank will probably put Roskilde Bank up for sale either the entire bank or parts thereof. The bank will not be allowed to collapse and the clients are thus not going to lose any money but it is obvious not good timing to get a situation like this. Thomas”
Thomas was correct and shortly after the Globe and Mail reported:
COPENHAGEN — Denmark’s central bank unveiled an $896.8-million U.S. bailout of Roskilde Bank acting to confine the negative effect of the struggling bank on the Danish financial system. The central bank stepped in after Roskilde, Denmark’s eighth-largest retail bank by market share, failed to receive any offers after putting itself up for sale in the face of bigger than expected writedowns on real estate loans.
The article outlined that Roskilde was extraordinary as a Danish bank in
that it was heavily exposed to the property sector and that other Danish banks in general were well prepared in a deteriorating Danish economic situation.
The Danish Central Bank had no expectations of any other banks suffering
In fact a June 2008 report from Denmark’s National Bank says:
Denmark’s domestic and foreign central-government debt has the highest rating from Standard & Poor’s (AAA), Fitch Ratings (AAA) and Moody’s
(Aaa). Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s affirmed the rating
in September 2007, December 2007 and April 2008 respectively with an
unchanged stable outlook.
Analytical reports and specific ratings on individual government secu-
rities are available on the websites of respectively Standard & Poor’s
(www.standardandpoors.com), Fitch Ratings (www.fitchratings.com) and
Jyske Bank also ranks well on its own and has a stable outlook at this time. unlike most major banks. Here are current rankings:
Bank Rating Outlook
Jyske Bank A+ Stable
Citigroup AA- Negative
Deutsche Bank AA- Negative
Goldman Sachs AA- Negative
JP Morgan Chase AA- Negative
Credit Suisse A+ Negative
Lehman Brothers A Negative
Morgan Stanley A+ Negative
UBS AA- Negative
As can be seen, Jyske Bank is doing well. Jyske is the only bank on the list with a stable outlook. All others are on the watch list for down-grading.
Note that Jyske Bank has the same rating as Morgan Stanley but a better outlook.
Jyske Bank’s rating is better than Lehman (after today probably much better), the same as Credit Suisse and one grade below the others. However, it’s very seldom that S&P give a rating above A+ for a relatively small bank like Jyske Bank. The other banks on the list benefit from their size but this does not tell much about how well they are run.
If you have any questions on how Jyske Bank you can see the bank’s home page www.jyskebank.dk/english and read the latest semi-annual report.
US investors should contact Thomas Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Non US investors should contact Rene Mathys email@example.com
The thousands of other reasons I like Jyske are the people that work there.
An article at scienceblog.com entitled “Happiness is rising around the world” says that Danes are the happiest people in the world.
The article says:
People in most countries around the world are happier these days, according to newly released data from the World Values Survey based at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.
During the past 26 years, the World Values Surveys have asked more than 350,000 people how happy they are, using the same two questions.
Data from representative national surveys conducted from 1981 to 2007 show the happiness index rose in an overwhelming majority of nations studied.
The 2007 wave of the surveys also provides a ranking of 97 nations containing 90 percent of the world’s population. The results indicate that Denmark is the happiest nation in the world and Zimbabwe the unhappiest. The United States ranks 16th on the list, immediately after New Zealand.
Economic growth, democratization and rising social tolerance have all contributed to rising happiness, with democratization and rising tolerance having even more impact than economic growth. All of these changes have contributed to providing people with a wider range of choice in how to live their lives—which is a key factor in happiness.
“The results clearly show that the happiest societies are those that allow people the freedom to choose how to live their lives,” Inglehart said.
As an example, Inglehart points to the tolerant social norms and democratic political systems in Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Canada all of which rank among the 10 happiest countries in the world.
In my opinion this happiness shows through at Jyske. Our dealings have always found the staff to be helpful, cheerful and willing to take an extra step to help make us as their customer happy as they are
Until next message, may you be happy too.
Join me and Thomas Fischer from Jyske Global Asset Management in North Carolina to learn more about economic trends.
We’ll have lunch at the farm and enjoy the leaf change.
Thomas Fisher speaking to our delegates at the farm.
Delegates enjoying a private conversation with Thomas Fischer during a coffee break at the farm.
This is the most beautiful time of the year on the Blue Ridge.