This excerpt taken from the PBI 10-K filed Feb 26, 2009.
We are exposed to the impact of interest rate changes and foreign currency fluctuations due to our investing and funding activities and our operations denominated in different foreign currencies.
We manage our exposure to changes in interest rates by limiting its impact on earnings and cash flows and lowering our overall borrowing costs. We use a balanced mix of debt maturities and variable and fixed rate debt together with interest rate swaps to execute our strategy.
Our objective in managing our exposure to foreign currency fluctuations is to reduce the volatility in earnings and cash flows associated with the effect of foreign exchange rate changes on transactions that are denominated in foreign currencies. Accordingly, we enter into various contracts, which change in value as foreign exchange rates change, to protect the value of external and intercompany transactions. The principal currencies actively hedged are the British pound, Canadian dollar and Euro.
We employ established policies and procedures governing the use of financial instruments to manage our exposure to such risks. We do not enter into foreign currency or interest rate transactions for speculative purposes. The gains and losses on these contracts offset changes in the value of the related exposures.
We utilize a Value-at-Risk (VaR) model to determine the maximum potential loss in fair value from changes in market conditions. The VaR model utilizes a variance/co-variance approach and assumes normal market conditions, a 95% confidence level and a one-day holding period. The model includes all of our debt and all interest rate and foreign exchange derivative contracts. The model
excludes anticipated transactions, firm commitments, and receivables and accounts payable denominated in foreign currencies, which certain of these instruments are intended to hedge.
The VaR model is a risk analysis tool and does not purport to represent actual losses in fair value that will be incurred by us, nor does it consider the potential effect of favorable changes in market factors.
During 2008 and 2007, our maximum potential one-day loss in fair value of our exposure to foreign exchange rates and interest rates, using the variance/co-variance technique described above, was not material.