In May 2011, Charles Munger of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. accused international investment banks of facilitating market abuse by national governments. For example: “Goldman Sachs helped Greece in 2002 raise $1 billion in off-balance sheet funds through a currency sweatshirt, which allowed the government to hide its debt.”  Greece had previously managed to obtain authorisation to join the euro on 1 January 2001, well before its physical launch in 2002, by giving its deficit figures.  Generally, banks with a global presence act as intermediaries in swap transactions and help keep the two parties together. Sometimes the banks themselves can become counterparties to the swap agreement and try to offset the risk they are taking by entering into a clearing swap agreement. In addition to hedging foreign exchange risk, this type of swap often helps borrowers obtain lower interest rates than they could get if they were to borrow directly from a foreign market. Neither Company A nor Company B has enough money to finance their respective projects. Thus, both companies will try to obtain the necessary funds through debt financingEn financing by equity funds with equity financing – what is best for your business and why? The simple answer is that that`s what counts. The choice between equity and liabilities is based on a number of factors such as the current economic climate, the capital structure of the existing business and the life cycle phase of the business, to name a few.
Companies A and B prefer to borrow in their national currencies (which can be borrowed at a lower interest rate) and then conclude the sweats exchange contract. In both scenarios, each company received the desired foreign currency, but at a more favourable rate, while again protecting itself from currency risks. The first official foreign exchange swap was carried out by Citicorp`s international bank for a $US sterling exchange of $100,000,000 between Mobil Oil Corporation and General Electric Corporation Ltd (UK). The concept of interest rate swap was developed by the Citicorp International swap unit, but inter-currency interest rate swaps were introduced by the World Bank in 1981 to obtain cash flows with IBM the Swiss franc and the German mark. The deal was negotiated by Salomon Brothers for a fictitious $210 million, lasting more than 10 years.  As over-the-counter instruments, cross-currency swaps (XCS) can be adapted in different ways and tailored to the specific needs of counterparties.