Greenspan FT interview | stockbee


Greenspan FT interview

Financial Times has interview with Greenspan , ahead of publication of his book The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World. He predicts further drop in home prices and dim future for collateralised debt obligations. Interesting perspective from the former Fed chief.

The former chairman said the current turmoil in financial markets was “an accident waiting to happen”.

He said the price of risk had fallen to unsustainably low levels beforehand, with investors addicted to asset-backed securities that offered some additional yield over Treasury bonds as if they were “cocaine”. Mr Greenspan said this demand induced the big increase in the origination of subprime mortgages by mortgage brokers.

The rise in defaults on subprime mortgages was only the trigger that set off a broad re-evaluation of risk, he argued.

Mr Greenspan said the off-balance sheet investment vehicles that issued much of the asset-backed commercial paper represented a “savings and loans disaster waiting to happen” because of the mismatch between their assets and liabilities. Mr Greenspan thought the issuance of asset-backed commercial paper ”is probably not going to get back to where it was.”

They had “five-year maturity assets financed with 30-day commercial paper”, he said.

The former Fed chairman said collateralised debt obligations – securities that slice up and repackage loans to meet the risk-appetite of different investors – “will never get back to the levels and structures that they were, because now everybody knows you cannot price them”.

He added that in an innovative financial market “there will always be products that fail”.


levy13 said...

are you no longer posting the market monitor statistics?

dee said...

hi pradeep
who is holding these paper and derived products now.
what cascade effects will it produce as there is no one going to make those mortgate payment.
so the papers are useless and what effects will it produce in markets
it complicated.
what do you think

solo said...

just curious as to why he didn't speak out about it when he was the Federal Reserve Chairman? Or was he keeping all this information to himself so after he left office he could write this "Book" and make a lot of money off it!

The cynic in me thinks he did it for the money. But then again I'm a cynic.

fpgabuilder said...

Thanks for pointing out this article. I read it on FT's site. What are "credit default swaps"? Greenspan mentions this in the 3rd paragraph from last in the article.

market operator said...


A Credit Default Swap is basically a put option on a bond. It 'swaps' the risk a bond issuer defaults for a fixed cost, usually LIBOR + premium.

Sometimes there's good info in the CDS market, especially around takeovers since these are OTC traded and not regulated. Also there is tremendous growth and large opportunities since pricing models of some of the CDS's are inefficient or just wrong.