Monday, October 06, 2008

Credit Default Swaps explained

Here's the best explanation yet I've heard of what a "credit default swap" is. These instruments are central to the current financial crisis. The explanation starts at about 4:30 into this 60 Minutes clip:

(HT: Balloon Juice) Basically, a credit default swap is an insurance policy that's supposed to pay you money if a certain security or institution becomes worthless. But because it's not called insurance, it isn't regulated, so there are no rules about how much money you have to have on hand to pay out. So it's no surprise that when things went sour and these credit default swaps were called in, there wasn't enough money to pay out and firms went under.


Blogger Avatar said...

Do you have a Private mortgage insurance (PMI) policy? If you do your PMI insurer has passed along their risk by buying a credit default swaps (CDS) to protect them in the event you have your home that your home is taken away from you. CDS and PMI are the same thing. Make people wanting to buy a home put at least 20% down if you don't like them.

9:30 PM, October 07, 2008  

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