Arnold Ziegel formed Mountain Mentors Associates after his retirement from a corporate banking career of more than 30 years at Citibank. The lessons learned from his experience in dealing with entrepreneurs, multinational corporations, highly leveraged companies, financial institutions, and structured finance, led to the development and delivery of numerous senior level credit risk training programs for major global financial institutions from 2002 through the present. This book was conceived and written as a result of the development of these courses and his experience as a corporate banker. It illustrates the fundamental issues of credit and credit analysis in a manner that tries to take away its mystery. The overriding theme of this book is that when an investor extends credit of any type, the goal is “to get your money back”, and with a return that is commensurate with the risk. The goal of credit analysis is not to make “yes or no” decisions about the extension of credit, but to identify the degree of risk associated with a particular obligor or a particular credit instrument. This is consistent with modern banking industry portfolio management and the rating systems of credit agencies. Once the “riskiness” of an obligor or credit instrument is established, it can be priced or structured to match the risk demands or investment criteria of the entity that is extending the credit. A simple quote from Mr. J. P. Morgan is used often in this text – “Lending is not based primarily on money or property. No sir, the first thing is character”.