Thursday, July 12, 2007

A quick look at who could lose big due to CDO problems

Jim Jubak of MSN wrote Deepening Debt Crisis providing an estimate of who is at risk(my highlights):

"First, the investors who elected to buy the equity tranche (which are the riskiest debts), attracted by the possibility of an equitylike return on a fixed-income investment, get killed...

Hedge funds bought about 10% of equity tranches in 2006, according to Bear Stearns. But pension funds bought more -- 18%. Insurance companies bought even more -- 19%. And asset managers bought even more -- 22%. When pension funds take big losses, parent companies have to make up the loss or workers have to take smaller pensions. When insurance companies take the loss, insurance rates go up. When asset managers take the loss, well, we all cry when we open our monthly mutual-fund statements.

It's hard to get a complete list of who owns equity-tranche CDOs. But some names that come up include the California Public Employees' Retirement System ($140 million), the Teachers Retirement System of Texas ($63 million), French financial giant AXA and the New Mexico State Investment Council ($223 million)"...

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