The topic of this book is treasury finance, but the way it is written tries to reflect a broader view and an approach to finance in general, which I have built throughout my career and for which I am indebted to many people.

Tal Sandhu, whom I worked with at Banca Caboto and Morgan Stanley, took a chance on a green PhD graduate and taught me to look at finance in terms of fundamentals: one should always start from first principles, and often risk neutrality is just plain common sense. He has the same traits as the great experimental physicists I had worked with in my previous career: when one truly understands a subject, no amount of obscure math can get in the way. Stefano Boschian Pest, also a colleague from Banca Caboto and Morgan Stanley, shares the same worldview and many of the issues treated in this book can be traced back to questions and problems we have asked ourselves in the past.

At the Word Bank I need to thank Christopher Vallyeason: some key discussions we have had on the topics of funding and nonprofit banking have helped greatly to shape my understanding. In this book I try to paint a picture (albeit an often simplified one) of how an entire banking operation works: I owe part of the success of this attempt to him (while I reserve the full blame in case of failure). Also at the World Bank I need to thank Carlo Segni and Tenzing Sharchok for some very useful discussions on the dynamics of the search, particularly when option driven, for lower borrowing costs; George Richardson for explaining to me some important points on funding in Emerging Markets and non-deliverable currencies. Finally, I need to thank Dirk Bangert for a few extremely interesting conversations on credit modeling.

I need to thank at John Wiley & Sons the editorial team and, in particular, Susan McDermott, Jennifer MacDonald, and Tiffany Charbonier: their enthusiasm and help were crucial to the publishing of this book.

Finally I would like to thank my wife, Eglantine, for putting up with me during the writing of this book. As Tom W. Korner would say, though, the last six words seem unnecessarily limiting.

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