Monoline insurers and the super-senior bombshell

9. Monolines

Inextricably linked to the evolution of the CDO business in recent years has been the support of the monoline insurance industry. These insurance companies sell financial guarantees (and as this is the only line of business they are legally authorised to sell, this gives rise to the name 'monoline').

In the structured finance market, that insurance has largely taken the form of selling protection on the most senior tranches of CDOs, the credit quality of which has traditionally been regarded as

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