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Tranching, CDs And Asset Prices: How Financial Innovation Can Cause Bubbles And Crashes

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Executive Summary

The authors show how the timing of financial innovation might have contributed to the mortgage boom and then to the bust of 2007-2009. They study the effect of leverage, tranching, securitization and CDS on asset prices in a general equilibrium model with collateral. They show why tranching and leverage tend to raise asset prices and why CDS tend to lower them. 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.

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