Introduction

Ahraz Sheikh

1.1 THE ANATOMY OF A CRISIS

The 2007–12 global financial crisis (GFC) posed significant challenges to financial services firms (including banks, insurers, asset managers and hedge funds) and regulators, as well as the wider global economy. A key lesson learned was that financial services firms were ill-equipped to deal with prolonged systemic crises.

Just prior to the GFC, the global economy was growing rapidly. Global markets were recovering from financial stress events brought about by the collapse of the “tiger” economies (in 1997), the default on Russian sovereign debt (in 1998), the dot-com bubble of 2000, the events of September 11, 2001 and the collapses at Enron and WorldCom (2001–2).

Despite this, equity market indexes worldwide were reaching record levels. In addition, the market for traded credit products also grew substantially between 2000 and 2005, with many innovative products being developed by investment banks to meet the needs of institutional investors. This followed a period of significant innovation in credit and financial derivative modelling techniques in the late 1990s.

One family of such products is securitisation products, of which key examples

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