Monday, November 26, 2012

Banking for Dummies

My knowledge of any and all things financial is embarrassingly negligent. In other words, I know basically nothing about things like various types of bank accounts, investments, stocks, bonds, interest, and anything else having to do with the world of banks, finances, or money. Although I've heard of things like chemical mergers and acquisitions, my first hand experience and knowledge about the topic is non-existent. What makes a bank a chemical investment bank? How do the terms "chemical" and "bank" even belong in the same sentence? I decided to try to find the answers to these questions, but that ended up not being quite as clear cut as I hoped. Sometimes the internet is fickle like that. Maybe it would have been better to ask a real live person who knows about banking matters instead of counting on the trusty World Wide Web.

From what I can understand, chemical banks are those that have expert knowledge in the field of chemicals. I never really thought about how pervasive chemicals are in our daily lives, in their various manifestations. There are the food related chemicals, such as additives and flavors. Then there's the agricultural field, which includes chemicals in fertilizers and who knows what else. Surfactants found in cleaning and personal hygiene products would also be included, as well as lots of other things, like biofuels, paints, inks, and much more. Okay, apparently chemicals are all around us. And that means there are lots of corporations dealing with chemicals. And corporations of all kinds have banking needs, so I suppose it makes sense that there are banks dedicated to servicing the chemical industry. A bank offering chemical advisory knowledge would obviously be a good fit for a corporation manufacturing and selling chemicals.

Banks such as The Valance Group staff experts in the field who have specialized knowledge and training that general bankers typically wouldn't have. I'm sort of having an "a-ha" moment! Clarity is a beautiful thing. Although, don't get me wrong, I'm still 99% clueless.

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