Insecurity and innovation

As underwriting dealers may be trying to forget, poor corporate credit quality and low recovery rates for corporate bonds resulted in a record number of collateralised debt obligation (CDO) downgrades in 2002. Thanks especially to the poor performance of high-yield deals structured in 1998 and 1999, investors are now fearful of the product. Underwriters say CDO performance must ultimately reflect the performance of the collateral – effectively saying: ‘It’s not our fault’. But their recent

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