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April 17, 2013

Banking Vs I-Banking: A Question of Spice Levels

Uday Kotak in Outlook Business (emphasis mine):
From an investment banking perspective you need to offer what investors want at all times, but as a lender you need to decide if it makes sense for you. For example, in 2007-08, there was exuberance around the Indian infrastructure story — the media believed it, the policy makers believed it, investors wanted it, so we brought some of these companies to market. It was probably high risk but we got them in. Offering equities is like leaving to the consumer the choice of how much spice they want in their food — if they want a high risk bet with the upside and the downside of equities, the choice is really theirs — and as a cook I need to give them that. But as a banker, I need to decide how much spice is good for me; I did not like spice in my food during that time so we did not take exposure to infrastructure.
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