Column - Jonathan Laredo

Banks are feverishly trying to repair their wrecked balance sheets, and until they have the confidence to re-enter the market there will be an imbalance of buyers and sellers

Over the past seven years the capital markets have got used to a new, seemingly bottomless source of capital: securitisation. In those years the appetite for rated securitised debt has produced demand for mortgage assets from Australia to the US and assets from leveraged loans to contingent claims in tobacco litigation settlements.

As is usual in bull markets it became increasingly easy for consumers or companies to increase leverage with lower levels of collateral coverage and on easier terms

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