Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Global Financial Market's play the Telephone Game

Ummm.... does this work in real life?  It never worked when we played the telephone game in school.  By the time the conversation got to the end of the line it would be a mangled mess. 

The so-called ''originate-to-distribute'' business model involves a chain of stages with different counterparties transferring risks between them. At the outset of the chain, a mortgage company provides a housing loan to a borrower, categorised as ''sub-prime'' due to their less creditworthiness. Then, the lender, or the originator of the mortgage loan, sells it to commercial banks and investment banks, which then bundle different loans together to form securitised products such as mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and collaterised loan obligations (CDOs). In this process, these arrangers of securitised products deal with credit rating agencies to obtain ratings from them. In the final phase of the process, these securitised products are sold to end-investors through distributors, typically large investment banks. At each stage of this process, credit risk is transferred from one party to its counterparty. Supposedly, accurate information on the risk should also be transferred from one party to another in due manner in this process.

Source: The Global Financial Market... : FSA

The Japanese Commissioner to Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA), Takafumi Sato agrees.

In reality, however, this may not have been the case. Rather, there is a possibility that in many cases information was transmitted in a distorted manner and accurate information was not transmitted between counterparties. For a party who was going to transfer credit risk by selling its claims to the counterparty, there might have been little incentive to carefully examine the quality of the credit due to be sold. Moreover, there may have been disincentives for the party in question to disclose accurate information to its counterparty. Thus in many cases, end-investors, and probably arrangers and distributors as well, may not have been adequately informed of, and may not have fully understood, the true nature of the risks they were bearing.


Could your home foreclosure cause a hedge fund to fail overseas?  This is the Butterfly Effect taken to a new level.

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