Opinion

Felix Salmon

Regulators have known about the mortgage bond scandal for three years

By Felix Salmon
October 15, 2010

Clayton isn’t the only company doing due diligence on mortgages: another company doing the same thing is Allonhill. Whose CEO, Sue Allon, has a blog post up today explaining that there’s nothing to get excited about here:

In the run-up to the crisis, there was no rule that issuers had to perform due diligence at all. They obtained diligence for their own purposes, and when they did, no rule dictated that the results be disclosed to rating agencies and investors.

Allon goes on to say that “nobody – not investors, nor the SEC nor the rating agencies” was demanding that the due diligence reports be made public.

But this doesn’t make sense to me: why wouldn’t investors want to see the reports, if they knew they were being conducted?

And then there’s this:

The fact remains that investors still don’t have access to due diligence reports.

Still? How is that even possible? Isn’t the whole point of Section 15E(s)(4)(A) of the Exchange Act — introduced recently as part of Dodd-Frank — to force underwriters to give investors access to due diligence reports?

And as for the SEC not caring about this, I’d point you to to a letter that Clayton sent to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. The idea was to distance itself from its former employees’ testimony, but check out this admission, towards the end:

Clayton began to review prospectuses in the summer and fall of 2007 in response to specific questions from regulators about whether Clayton’s due diligence results were set forth in MBS prospectuses.

Clearly, regulators have known about this issue for three years now; they’ve certainly known about it for long enough to insert Section 15E(s)(4)(A) of the Exchange Act into the Dodd-Frank bill.

So while Allon is right that there might not have been a specific rule requiring disclosure of the diligence results, there were still general rules requiring that underwriters disclose all relevant information when they sold mortgage bonds — or any other kind of security — to investors. That’s where the huge potential liability lies.

Update: Patrick Rucker of Reuters was all over this back in July 2007:

Investment banks that bundle and sell home mortgages often commissioned reports showing growing risks in subprime loans to less creditworthy borrowers but did not pass much of the information to credit rating agencies or investors, Wall Street sources said…

“If all the information about these investments was properly disclosed, our client would have made different decisions…and, specifically, not bought these investments,” said Dale Ledbetter, a Florida attorney suing Credit Suisse.

Comments
31 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

I’m sure I’ll get plenty of heat for this, but I want to answer your question, “But this doesn’t make sense to me: why wouldn’t investors want to see the reports, if they knew they were being conducted?”

Because they didn’t care. Life was good, it was too much effort, why make more work for themselves? Besides, home prices had no national correlation so whatevs, as long as the pool was geographically diversified they were ok.

Posted by Anal_yst | Report as abusive
 

I should also add that unfortunately, I fear that the SEC (etc) will make lazy/indifferent/inept mbs (etc) buyers whole-ish in reward for their aforementioned lack of diligence, ala IKB. Argh…

Posted by Anal_yst | Report as abusive
 

Agree completely with Anal_yst’s first comment. On the second comment, however, I disagree – that’s where the real story lies – in the “out” clauses MBS buyers have related to the structuring banks’ failures to deliver the underlying notes. In many of the securities, the purchasers have the right to sell them back to the issuing banks if the note delivery criteria wasn’t met.

THAT’s one of the major stories behind ForeclosureGate, and Felix’s confused attempts to re-interpret and re-write the applicable laws of due diligence and disclosure are only serving as a diversion and a confusion to his reader base (ie, Anal_yst: the MBS buyers get bailed out by the protective clauses in their contracts and the banks’ failures in procedure, so the SEC won’t have to bail them out of their own ignorance, hopefully).

Posted by KidDynamite | Report as abusive
 

Yes. why should the SEC care… Ethics weren’t clearly defined in any regulations, Glass steigal was removed simply so JUST SUCH fraudulent practices and instruments could be allowed for the Capitalist greed machine.

There is simply so much corruption that it is difficult to keep track of so… here is their fix!

ttp://4closurefraud.org/2010/10/02/psst- hey-you-yea-you-i-got-just-what-you-need -lender-processing-services-docx-documen t-fabrication-price-sheet/

Posted by hsvkitty | Report as abusive
 

ooops….

Glass–Steagall

Posted by hsvkitty | Report as abusive
 

Yes they just wanted the information to close the barn door after the horses have left so that particular loophole could be closed. I wonder how many hundreds more loopholes are written in to protect the guilty for many more bonuses to come?

Securitization fraud, accounting fraud, mortgage fraud, ratings fraud, misleading asset disclosure fraud, appraiser fraud, underwriter fraud, fraudulent documentation, fraudulent signatories, fraud upon the court system … I missed more, sorry…. but I have to make dinner. It is systemic fraud and no one should think otherwise! no one!

And kid, not seeing the forest for the trees is a problem, but you seem to think no lumberjacks are necessary. The people are going to be going ‘here’s Johnny’ on the parties if this isn’t handled properly. Hopefully in a more metaphorical fashion, but if not it wouldn’t be the first time.

I will throw it out there again that Martha Stewart went to jail and this is going to be swept neatly into the dustbin.

Signed..HK
Oh wait let’s let the signature machine do it please…
http://www.signaturemachine.com/products  /demo_page.htm

Posted by hsvkitty | Report as abusive
 

Goodness.

Investors have no right to look at internal due diligence reports. Sure.

But investors have a right to rely upon the representations made to them in the documentation of a security by reputable institutions. “Due diligence” by investors doesn’t mean independent investigation by investors of whether representations of plain fact are mistaken or fraudulent.

If there had been no due diligence reports up front, and investors somehow learned and could prove that representations made to them and on which they based investment decisions were materially false, they would have a cause of action. Not for fraud, but for failure to live up to the terms of a contractual arrangement.

However, if originators did, via “due diligence” or any other means, learn that the investments they were selling did not live up to the representations they made, and did not disclose that to investors, they committed fraud. If they used information regarding the quality of assets to negotiate discounts without passing that information on to investors so that they too could reprice the securities, that clarifies the degree to which the misbehavior was both intentional and profitable.

Fundamentally, securities fraud is about selling promises that claim to be stronger than they are. You can sell as flakey or risky as security as you wanna, as long as you don’t represent what you are selling as anything other than that. But if you make claims as to the quality of the assets that you are selling, not forward-looking claims about potential risk and return but statements of current fact, and if those statements are wrong, you may be liable. And if you knowingly misstate facts about securities and profit from the misstatements, you have committed securities fraud.

This is not so hard.

Posted by stevewaldman | Report as abusive
 

Yes Felix – please find us a prospectus where the securities were misrepresented. That will make this entire inane debate unnecessary. As a commenter in your other thread noted, the banks even disclosed that the securities didn’t meet their underwriting standards…

you read that in the other thread, right hswitty?

Look, I don’t have any of the prospectuses, so the offer is out there to all of you alleging fraud – SHOW US.

Posted by KidDynamite | Report as abusive
 

This falls to the *previously* AAA-rated bond investors. These classes represented the 80-90% share of most, by & large, private label MBS tranches. Of course, the next question is what remains of these 15-20 yr AL securities & is some of that already going to reflect itself in the varying ABX indices.

IE, it’s highly doubtful the original BB+ investor will get so much as a booster seat at the table.

Given the number of variables at work, and the increasing evidence of the sincere lack of effort at diligence by all parties involved: just how shocking is it to find that the eventual consumer of the MBS/CDO sausage is the one holding what’s left of his digestive tract ?

Borrower: credit impaired, go be that renter
Lender: Shut down. Office building in Irvine, CA, for sale
Servicer: Enjoyed that 50 bps free lunch. Now eats 75-100bps, probably, in added costs. Incompetence ongoing.

ALL Others: man up for a food fight.

Moodys, S&P: life’s good for ya, aint it. Good luck with those CA municipals. Damn cowards.

Posted by McGriffen | Report as abusive
 

SEC Edgar has a document bounty in store for those who will seek it. I can float a few names of private label MBS issuance trusts if anyone is jumpy. Bonus: it’s anagram bonanza.

Such detailed review of documents, structural features, and loan level data would probably take a team of Starbuck-induced gnomes a few weeks to examine the quarterly issuance between 2006-2007.

All deals are not created equal, and neither are the classes investors could choose to pursue.

Posted by McGriffen | Report as abusive
 

Kid Dynamite, what is so special about the financial services business that the presumption of good faith doesn’t apply? I though market transactions were mutually beneficial? Isn’t that the “magic of the market”?

In my business it is taken for granted that my client gives me money (value) because I give him/her value in return. If I take my clients money but fail to give value in return there is a good chance I end up in court.

What is so special about your business (or former business) that this presumption doesn’t apply?

Posted by mattski | Report as abusive
 

Prospectus said it might be shite, but it is AAA shite.

Abacus
http://www.scribd.com/doc/30414220/ABACU S-Offer-Document

Felix on this
http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/20 10/04/23/the-abacus-prospectus/

Commenter who summed it up well

*Of the 90 ABACUS reference obligations there are 16 mortgage servicers involved w/ Wells Fargo predominant followed by OptionOne, Select Portfolio Servicing FKA Fairbanks Capital, Aurora, WAMU, Countrywide, Saxon, JPMC,Homeq, Wilshire Credit, Fremont, Ameriquest, Novastar, CitiMortgage and LongBeach . . . all of which have been subject of lawsuits alleging mortgage servicing fraud with multiple FTC actions for servicing fraud against SPS, servicing 9 of these entities. Monoline insurers also allege servicing malfeasance in recent suits, naming many of these same parties.

Given the culture of Wall Street, one in which if you disclose a fraud in an offering document, it’s okay to proceed with that fraud, I found ABACUS risk caveats relating to servicing quite enlightening. These are boilerplate for other CDOs as well.

Pg 30

“Credit risk arises from losses due to defaults by the borrowers in the underlying collateral or the issuer’s or servicer’s failure to perform.”

Pg 28

“Violation of certain provisions of these laws, public policies and principles may limit the servicer’s ability to collect all or part of the principal of or interest on a residential mortgage loan”

and then there’s this:

Pg 25

“The Protection Buyer or its affiliates and/or the Portfolio Selection Agent or its affiliates may have information, including material, non-public information, regarding the Reference Obligations and the Reference Entities.”

Looks like a lot of subprime shorts knew exactly what these servicers were up to. In terms of CDS payouts, default is a default…doesn’t matter how you come by it. Was this reference collateral selected on the basis of complicit servicers’ expertise in fabricating defaults?

If these reference obligations were selected and shorted with knowledge of subsidiary servicer complicity, this will turn out to be the largest insider trading scheme the world has ever seen.
Posted by MichelDelving | Report as abusive

Posted by hsvkitty | Report as abusive
 

KidDynamite, do you have as much contempt for the unsophisticated American consumer? At what point is it okay to consider the seller a snake oil salesman? Only when selling to your 80 year old grandmother? Or does it not even matter then? Is it her fault for not having an mba? At what point is 100% of the responsibility not laid on the buyer? I’d just like to be clear for my own personal growth purposes.

I guess I never had any idea that so much commerce depends on one “counterparty” ensnaring a victim as opposed to making a mutually beneficial deal. Whatever, maybe I was just too naive before seeing the light. From now, I’m only in the business of screwing people, neighbor be damned!

Posted by spectre855 | Report as abusive
 

Mattski : you wrote ” If I take my clients money but fail to give value in return there is a good chance I end up in court.” no – there’s a good chance you lose your client. that’s the point – THAT is the correcting mechanism. there is no fiduciary duty. You won’t like the answer to the other part of your question, but the big broker dealers’ jobs are to give their clients what they want. Maybe they’re kinda like drug dealers in that sense. Their clients wanted highly rated securitized products offering a pickup in yield – and that’s what their clients got. Again, it comes back to the ratings agencies, and the refusal of the buyers to do their homework.

You end up in court if you did something illegal – which is why I left the above comment saying show me the prospectus that violated the law.

Spectre855: the buyers of MBS products were not unsophisticated American consumers – they were professional money managers who are the one party here who is absolutely guilty of violating their fiduciary duty – they took YOUR money, didn’t do their homework, and were grossly negligent in the manner in which they invested it. That is why I’m so angry. As long as everyone is so hellbent on protecting the ignorant, they are doomed to repeat these mistakes ad-infinitum.

There’s a reason these products aren’t sold to my 80 year old grandmother. there’s a reason there’s a professional fund manager in there who is supposed to be doing the research on the products – the due diligence. That person was grossly negligent. Those who did the work saw the truth – these facts have been well established.

The funny thing is that people want to say “everyone knew that these things were dog-doo.” Yes – everyone who REALLY did their homework on them knew it! But you had to do real work – even deeper work than the ratings agencies even did. Greedy, lazy, ignorant money managers got slaughtered, and they are serious villains here.

Posted by KidDynamite | Report as abusive
 

Well Kid if that were the case, then why didn’t they just package up shite for real and sell it? Oh that’s right they did.

They are not like drug dealers (although it is like fiancial crack) Unless you also mean they said they were giving you coke and then replaced half with baking soda.

They were doing a shell game and while it is true the Investors wanted to play the game, the ball was removed … they sliced up the ball and played the game with the pieces several times over until they added the last dump into Abacus… and what a hot potato it was according to this information.

Angry at the Investors but not the banks? Do you really believe the investment banks are not at fault? So much so that you are only angry that the investors were greedy and got duped? Yes they were negligent in their fiduciary duties and they were fired.

You really are also addicted to the financial crack. You can’t think even try to think ethically anymore.

PS I think that some of those mortgage notes became ‘lost’ because the banks were aware which had never been eligible for loans, had been designed to default and sold to feed the CDO industry and had to be destroyed as the SEC was beginning to probe. That so many in Florida were destroyed and then called lost is interesting to say the least. If only original signatures in ink are acceptable, how can an electronic version substitute?

I also believe that the many who bought the notes were well aware they would fail because they were designed to fail and so they shorted. WHO? Hopefully those who have failed/will fail themselves for cheating the system and the public and abandoning rule of law.

*fingers crossed*

Posted by hsvkitty | Report as abusive
 

KD wrote: “no – there’s a good chance you lose your client. that’s the point – THAT is the correcting mechanism.”

I think that’s wrong as a factual matter. In the real world, yes, there are laws against fraud and selling faulty goods can result in legal remedies. I think you are presenting *normative* ideas as facts and that’s where you’re over-stepping.

Most people want the law to punish fraud. A tiny minority believe in a Libertarian paradise.

“but the big broker dealers’ jobs are to give their clients what they want.”

Whether or not they gave their clients what their clients wanted is apparently a disputed question.

Posted by mattski | Report as abusive
 

and hence, Mattski, my comment above: show me the fraud. no one has, thus far. It’s got nothing to do with a Libertarian paradise. The point is that just because hswkitty wants a fiduciary standard doesn’t mean one exists. You can start at the term BROKER/DEALER. It’s very different from adviser. The salesman selling MBS products is not like the private client rep at Merrill pitching stocks for your managed portfolio.

Customers wanted yield that was approved by the ratings agencies. That’s what they got.

The real story of foreclosuregate is about violation of the Rule of Law in the foreclosure process. Guess what – there’s also a rule of law when proving illegal activity – you can’t just say ” FRAUDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!” and be done. Show me where in what prospectus stuff was misrepresented – and guess what – I’ll agree with you!

People who actually KNOW the law and this business tell me that Felix’s wild goose chase is a load of nonsense – at least what he’s written so far.

Posted by KidDynamite | Report as abusive
 

KD: these people aren’t used car salesmen. Many of them are bright, thoughtful persons (a few bad apples +/-). That being said, without trust (of any kind) this business falls flat. And that argument rings hollow, to rip off your best customers.

I started in the business in late 90s; to imply that fiduciary duty is a stretch (as it regards to institutional sales), okay. But these folks, on BOTH the buy / sell side, are generally well-comped for their efforts. Being well-comped does not mean getting a free ride to just sell whatever the hell it is your Street firm is lately pushing, and then dump all over those suckers on the buy-side. THAT should be a going-concern problem, and noted by any future business “relations”.

Perhaps a better description is a commercial trust, in this counterparty relation. As a buy-sider, I’ll trust whatever price you list on the MBS inventory sheet. And for the sell-side, they don’t bitch / moan if I throw a 4/32 back-bid (since I doubt 100% the sell firm’s trading desk paid full freight on an offering). Oh, but they will.

Final thought: many comments belabor the fact that investors failed in their homework. True enough. To be fully clear, MBS investments have sucked wind for the last 3+ years; and any institutional portfolio will have to work a few years to remove that stink off the trailing return / peer comparisons.

Posted by McGriffen | Report as abusive
 

McGriffen – I KNOW they’re not used car salesmen – that’s my point – if you rip off your customers, you lose your customers! (I think I wrote exactly that in the prior thread)

have a nice weekend, folks. I hope it’s not too cold up in Saskatchewan, Kitty.

Posted by KidDynamite | Report as abusive
 

hsvkitty, in that case the PSA was the one who apparently had fraud perpetrated against it…. Are you claiming that ACA was part of a capitalist plot to defraud itself?

Posted by Danny_Black | Report as abusive
 

McGriffen, sorry but as an investor advisor who actually does have a fiduciary duty to his clients isn’t it your job to do this due diligence?

Again, I would love someone to post a prospectus where the sell-side is asserting that every single loan is compliant and where there were loans that were not compliant and the sell-side knew it.

Posted by Danny_Black | Report as abusive
 

Just remember what this “scandal” reminds me of… the always classic Homer Badman, in particular:

{[changes channels to Sally Jesse Raphael]}
Woman: {[weeping] I don’t know Homer Simpson, I — I never met Homer
Simpson or had any contact with him, but — [cries
uncontrollably] — I’m sorry, I can’t go on.}
Sally: {That’s OK: your tears say more than real evidence _ever_
could.}

Posted by Danny_Black | Report as abusive
 

It’s entertaining to think back, with a few keystrokes I might have purchased FNMA 15yr or 30yr 6.0% bonds. Bingo, problem solved. FNM and FRE receive capital infusion, and the FED is adding a hefty bid into that market. However, still exposed to a levered debt security issued via the US mortgage finance chicanery.

DUE Diligence: know the structural features of securitization 101 for private label MBS. AAA investors are at the front of the class, both in regards to interest and ultimate principal. AAA investors, by their nature, are supposedly gonna be risk-averse than a typical A/BBB investor. The credit enhancement structure on most private label MBS are fairly straight-forward. Excess spread, starting OC balances, and then the credit structure.

AAA classes are not ‘guaranteed’ of anything; but a starting CE % of 18-25% previously provided a better level of comfort, as opposed to the BBB class facing high losses with a CE% of 2-5%. AAA classes are the last class of investors to face potential loss of principal.

Rating migration: what the hell is this, now? It’s a long run study, performed on structured finance ABS, that proved over a 15-18 year period how stable AA/AAA ratings had performed over that time frame. Those results had maintained some historical signifance until late 2006/2007 & onward. Moving downward in the capital structure, it’s intuitive that classes rated “A” and lower experience greater “noise” in downgrade activity.

Default scenario assumptions: prior to the housing / mortgage finance implosion, it was commonly understood that a homeowner would choose to default on the mortgage loan as the last option. Credit cards, and automobile obligations, were typically presumed to be first out the door in terms of borrower default; easier to dismiss those, and/or settle, through a personal bankruptcy filing.

Credit curing: another previously held conceit, that an average “640 borrower” could improve one’s credit status after meeting contracted mortgage payments 18-24 months in a row. A fully documented loan also aided greatly in this regards.

I can probably add more as they derive into my noggin

Posted by McGriffen | Report as abusive
 

With all the current focus on organized and systematic manufacturing of falsified documents to deprive people of their homes, we must keep in mind that this is all a coverup for the real engine that drove the scheme – mortgage servicing fraud. Robo signers are just papering over bogus manufactured defaults which servicers were expert in fabricating in order to feed CDS casinos. Let’s also not forget who owns and controls most of the servicers – large investment banks whose prop trading desks savagely shorted subprime while complicit subsidiary servicers generated ‘credit events’ to ensure winning bets. Dissect any tanked CDO or look closely at ABX reference entities and you will see servicers with long rap sheets for servicing fraud, not only on all levels of the judicial system but in impotent Federal actions as well.

2010 – Countrywide Home Loans Servicing – now owned by BoA – http://www.ftc.gov:80/opa/2010/06/countr ywide.shtm
2008 – EMC Mortgage Corp. – formerly Bear Stearns subsidiary, now JPMC – http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/09/emc.shtm
2003 & 2007 – Select Portfolio Servicing – Credit Suisse subsidiary http://www.ftc.gov/fairbanks
2004 – Ocwen Federal Bank – http://files.ots.treas.gov/93606.pdf

It is no accident that time after time CDO prospectuses read “Credit risk arises from losses due to defaults by the borrowers in the underlying collateral or the issuer’s or SERVICER’S FAILURE TO PERFORM.” At the same time ratings agencies persisted in giving servicers sterling ratings without so much as a glance to relevant, readily available legal decisions and settlements. Despite these facts being in public view for years now, MSM has perpetrated the myth of deadbeat borrowers being the cause of this debacle. Only recently are some beginning to see the light and report the truth, acknowledging that servicers loaded the dice so investment banks and “speculators” could reap the benefit of their “sure bets”. When it all comes out, this will become known as the largest, most damaging insider trading scheme in all history.

L. Randall Wray, Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City puts it more strongly:
“This is the biggest scandal in human history. Indeed, all previous scandals from around the globe combined cannot even touch this one in terms of scale and scope and stench. This is the mother of all frauds and it will be etched into the history books for all time.”

http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2010/10/ bank-holiday-is-best-solution-for-epidem ic-of-mortgage-fraud.html#ixzz12YWiGlt6

Posted by MichelDelving | Report as abusive
 

KD: “Customers wanted yield that was approved by the ratings agencies. That’s what they got.”

Certainly a whiff of a (loosely organized) conspiracy there!

I’d sure love to see Felix, or perhaps Steve Waldman, weigh in again in comments.

Posted by mattski | Report as abusive
 

mattski, not really a conspiracy more just incentives. Most asset managers get paid by assets under management. How do they attract more assets? By chasing yield. Alot of these asset managers have regulatory constraints on what they can invest, most typically around credit risk. So what they are motivated to do is to take other risks instead because we seem to have been conditioned that if there is no credit risk then it is “safe”.

The banks manufactured these products because the asset managers wanted them. One of the things that got missed somehow is that during the boom, that there was so much demand from asset managers that the originating banks simply couldn’t issue enough debt to service that demand. I think the simple answer to Felix’s question about the due diligence is that most investors simply didn’t care. They cared about yield, they wanted a stamp saying it was “safe” and possibly some relative value input. It still amazes me that these people have somehow become the “victims” when they frankly are the root cause of the crisis and to again to reiterate they are the ones who most certainly DO have a fiduciary responsibility.

If I might add to the used car salesman analogy. You can argue about whether the salesman had a requirement to disclose everything or not but if you hire a guy to go out and get you the best deal based on his claim of expertise in this exact field then I think he DOES have a responsibility for what you buy.

Posted by Danny_Black | Report as abusive
 

MichelDelving, I am sure they also service the mortgages underlying successful ones too. Not that many servicers out there as it was a “economies of scale” business.

Posted by Danny_Black | Report as abusive
 

Danny_Black ~

There is much insight to be taken in knowing exactly how servicers are rated.

“Speed is also rewarded by the nation’s credit-rating agencies, which give higher grades to mortgage service firms that accelerate the foreclosure process and generally hand out lower grades to those who hold onto delinquent loans. A Fitch Ratings manual calls the speed of foreclosures “the key driver in the servicer rating,” according to a report by the National Consumer Law Center.”
For Foreclosure Processors Hired by Mortgage Lenders, Speed Equaled Money
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2010/10/15/AR2010101506541. html

In scrutinizing CDO reference collateral and ABX reference entities, it is boldly apparent that certain tranches were targeted for mortgage servicing fraud, knowing that it takes a relatively small percentage of defaults to tank a security. Sure there were many tranches in which complicit servicers did not exact servicing fraud. They didn’t need to. Given the now vast volume of case law, depositions, decisions and settlements, clearly there are few servicers who did not participate in the scheme. When lenders or credit unions portfolio and service loans in house, chances are you are fairly safe from predatory servicing.

Posted by MichelDelving | Report as abusive
 

MichelDelving, boldly apparent? Name one then. Post the prospectus and the proof the underlying loans were known by the banks to be fraudulent.

The incentives are the same for all servicers. In a falling market they LOSE money on foreclosures and they are out of pocket for up to three years before they see a dime. The article you quoted is confusing servicers with lawyers, who most certainly ARE making money out of this – and with the current “scandal” seem certain to make more.

PS as a buysider why are you scrutinzing CDO reference collateral now? As opposed to say three years ago?

Posted by Danny_Black | Report as abusive
 

Danny Black: “not really a conspiracy more just incentives”

Sure, but incentives (misaligned) result in moral hazard and/or corruption, simply put. And to an outsider the entire system looks corrupt if it succumbs to this sort of event. Which it did!

Btw, when you say the asset managers were the “root cause of the crisis” I think that you’re going too far. What makes them especially culpable, more so than the originators of the assets who evidently were selective in their disclosure of info? I take your point that the asset managers are culpable. I think misaligned incentives really means that *anyone* with an incentive to perpetuate this kind of nonsense is also culpable.

Posted by mattski | Report as abusive
 

mattski, first of all this was demand driven by the buyside. Secondly, of all the players involved the buyside are the ones who have a clear cut fiduciary responsibility to due proper due diligence not the sellside. They are the ones who get paid to do exactly that.

Posted by Danny_Black | Report as abusive
 

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