Fortnightly Magazine - December 2004

Cross-Subsidies: Getting the Signals Right

Should regulators care about the inefficiencies?

Utilities were founded to create cross-subsidies, but regulators need to address lingering uncertainties about such subsidies in a coherent, constructive way. The authors offer five recommendations.

Model Risk Management: How to Avoid an Earnings Surprise

The industry is going down the mark-to-market route, creating significant opportunities for earnings swings and distortions.

Domestic and international groups have pushed the industry toward mark-to-market accounting, creating significant opportunities for earnings swings and distortions and making good model risk management more essential now than ever before.

Regulatory Roundup

2004 FERC roundup: Path 15 Upgrade; Gas Bypass Pipeline; Power Line Communications; Gen Station Power Needs; ISO Retail Service; Renewable Energy Portfolios; Gas Supply Risk; Fuel Cost Hedging; Utility Supply Solicitations; Provider of Last Resort; Coal Seam Gas; Deceptive Marketing Practices; Renewable Portfolio Standards.

Utility Business Risk: A Reference

Business Versus Financial Risk: Debt is thought to be less risky than equity because debt holders have priority over equity holders as to: (1) distribution of assets in the case of dissolution of the company; and (2) distribution of earnings in the case of everyday operations.