Autocalamity: can hit product be reinvented?

Spreads on ‘worst-of’ bonds leap 50% as some dealers retreat and others pile on hedges

There are cruel seasons in the structured products business. After each storm in the autocallable market – which made up roughly 60% of last year's issuance – there is a period of regret, review and renewal; models are tightened, products tweaked. And then the cycle begins again, driven by its own natural laws. Autocallables are too popular to avoid, and too complex to risk-manage perfectly.

For some dealers, the severity of this year’s losses might break that cycle.

“The interesting question

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