FINANCIAL ENGINEERING AND INNOVATION - the headlines would scream. If your bank was not working at these, you were no where.
This has been a big problem area – actually disastrous.
Toxic complex structured products developed and aggressively marketed around the world by U.S. dealers and banks were the multi-trillion dollar time bomb that finally blew up the system.
In the five years or so up to 2006, big U.S. banks and dealers were bringing new and complex highly leveraged structures to market a mile a minute.
There were CDOs, CLOs and CMOs and a dozen other acronyms.
Many of these structures were leveraged more than ten times with exotic derivatives. For hundreds of billions of these structured products there is now only a market at distress prices – if there is a market at all.
The financial industry should get out of complex structured products.
If a security has more than two bells and one whistle, just say no. Think $32 billion of frozen Canadian non-bank asset backed commercial paper. It took a small army of top lawyers and top accountants a year to figure it out and, even now, no one knows what it’s worth.
It’s an amazing story that this could happen.