Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

November/December 2008

Previous editions

Editorial

All eyes on treasury

As the world watches the banking crisis unfold, a shift is taking place in the way the treasurer is perceived. Once viewed as an ivory tower, treasury has been brought to the forefront of the organisation by the financial crisis. Suddenly the treasurer is more visible than ever before, and awareness of the areas with which the treasury deals on a daily basis has grown, in the corporate setting and beyond. For the treasurer, this represents both a challenge and an opportunity.

With all eyes on treasury, there is an opportunity to harness this newfound visibility and to build on it by positioning treasury at the strategic heart of the company. The treasurer’s role has been expanding for some time, and this is a chance for treasurers to step forward and demonstrate how they can add value to the company.

At the same time, for many treasurers the demands brought by the crisis represent the biggest challenges of their careers. With liquidity scarce, commodity prices fluctuating wildly, major banks disappearing overnight, FX rates volatile and recession becoming a reality, every company will be looking at how it can reduce costs, reassess banking relationships, minimise all types of risk and meet its funding needs in a tough market. This is the domain of the treasurer, and as a result CEOs and CFOs are increasingly turning to treasurers to help navigate their companies through the crisis.

This month, therefore, we have focused our attention on the ongoing crisis and the ways in which treasurers can address the challenges they are now facing. In this issue of Treasury Today we are postponing some of our regular features and are including a special report on what has been happening in the area of money market funds.

We are also publishing a banking crisis special supplement alongside this month’s magazine. In the supplement we delve into the economic background of the present situation, track recent events and provide a detailed guide to the challenges facing treasurers in these difficult times. Finally, we look back at the Great Depression and consider the similarities and differences with the current crisis.