The subject of `finance' often strikes fear into the hearts of vulnerable people (traders) because they are wary and afraid of the power it wields. Andres Grath dispels such fears with his excellent addition to the international trade and finance bookshelf, twenty years since the original handbook was first published.
The key to understanding how this global industry now works is with the opening words where Grath writes "an international trade transaction, no matter how straightforward it may seem at the start, is not completed until delivery takes place" and he then examines the occasions when things might go wrong.
There are eight chapters covering these areas: trade risks and risk assessment; methods of payment; bonds, guarantees and standby letters of credit; currency risk management; export credit insurance; trade finance; structured trade finance; and terms of payment.
It is a handbook I would like to have read before I completed the international trade module of my Bar examinations because it gives valuable information for businesses, describing the negotiating process from the perspectives of both the buyer and the seller (who become my clients when there is a dispute).
Grath succeeds in giving a valuable insight into the complete financing process for the busy professional taken from his experience of major European financial institutions. There is a useful glossary at the back and a small index although no web links are given. This handbook is a practical reference guide for everyday use and I found his tables, diagrams, and practical working examples of great help in understanding the key finance areas of international trade in the twenty-first century, and the direction which the global finance markets now appear to be taking.
The handbook is primarily of significant benefit to all international traders as they expand their business opportunities and enter new global markets. It is also a work which educates all new to the industry, and has the facility of easy use for the expert professional, and the newcomer to banks and other trade-related institutions in all parts of the world today.
The new edition by Kogan Page is to be enthusiastically welcomed as global markets and transactions dominate the centre stage of new trading outlets, and the problem of payments continues to unravel to a new generation of financiers with all its attendant difficulties.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpfulAn invaluable coverage no business library should be without Midwest Book Review -
International trade seizing up
By way of background, letters of credit of various sorts are essential for trade. For instance, imagine the difficulty if you are, say, a Chinese manufacturer who wants to sell his wares to buyers overseas. How can he be sure the goods he ships will ever be paid for? Imagine the considerable difficulty and cost of chasing a deadbeat in a foreign country. Letters of credit. issued by banks, assure payment. They can also serve to finance the shipment (ie, fund the inventory while it is in transit).
Not only are banks now leery of lending to each other for much longer than overnight, they are also starting to refuse to honor letters of credit from other banks