Title

Tranching, CDS and Asset Prices: How Financial Innovation Can Cause Bubbles and Crashes

Document Type

Discussion Paper

Publication Date

7-1-2011

CFDP Number

1809R

CFDP Revision Date

2011-08-01

CFDP Pages

48

Abstract

We show how the timing of financial innovation might have contributed to the mortgage bubble and then to the crash of 2007-2009. We show why tranching and leverage first raised asset prices and why CDS lowered them afterwards. This may seem puzzling, since it implies that creating a derivative tranche in the securitization whose payoffs are identical to the CDS will raise the underlying asset price while the CDS outside the securitization lowers it. The resolution of the puzzle is that the CDS lowers the value of the underlying asset since it is equivalent to tranching cash.

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