Volume 39 (2011) / Issue 5
Financial hybrids are the main purpose of structured financial operations by means of special purpose vehicles (SPVs), off the balance sheet. There is an essential element without which the systemic financial crisis may never be understood, that is, the exclusive tax purpose that was purportedly aimed by the financial, banking, and insurance companies. Abusive transactions on financial hybrids (futures, swaps, repos) were designed, as proven by the US and New Zealand jurisprudence, to simultaneously obtain financial and tax advantages. Financial hybrids may result from a commercial and corporate purpose but such is not the case for synthetic hybrids over the counter, which, blessed by credit rating agencies, used arbitrage as an ordinary pattern, aiming to take advantage of the lack of coordination between legal systems and the opacity and secrecy of the transactions themselves.
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