Basics of Credit Derivatives

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Editorial comments

27th July 2007: The recent turmoil in the structured finance market (see ample coverage on vinodkothari.com) will affect the credit derivatives market, and chances high that the impact will be severe. The growth machine of credit derivatives and CDOs may halt this year. Intuition will bear it out that risk trading instruments mushroom during periods when there is little risk; they suddenly disappear when the risk hits the market. The market really does not trade in risk - it trades in illusion about risk. Risk seems like a lollypop when probability computations run in basis points; when the probabilities blow up, all computations of price to charge for risk go insane.

Credit Derivatives and Structured Credit Trading

by Vinod Kothari  
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Quotable quotes
The new Greenspan

It is a new Greenspan now. From someone who has consistently praised credit derivatives and CDO as responsible for holding the banking system in good stead, Greenspan has now started criticising CDOs. This is an excerpt from his latest interview at CNN Money [http://money.cnn.com/2007/09/16/magazines/fortune/greenspan_transcript.fortune/?postversion=2007091708]

"What you have to be careful about is collateral debt obligations which have gotten much too sophisticated, are priced by extraordinary mathematical models, and they are very difficult to value.

And what we have found is we have left this to credit rating agencies and what they designated as the so-called Triple-A tranches of a lot of these vehicles, turned out to be selling as though they were Double-B's.

And I think we're going to find that there's going to be no regulation, but a lot of the collateral debt obligations, collateral loan obligations, these special investment vehicles, all of which are highly questionable, I think people are going to be frightened to deal with those things for a long time, and many instances, a lot of them, are just going to disappear because they've been tried. They don't work.

But the big derivative markets continue to increase at a very rapid rate, and the reason is that they are important instruments for risk dispersion throughout the world. "

Quoted from Forbes.com : click here for the full story

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