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Main page » Periodicals » The Economist: Paradise lost (Special Report)

The Economist: Paradise lost (Special Report)


The Economist: Paradise lost (Special Report)
Banks are bound to fail from time to time. But, asks Andrew Palmer (interviewed here), does the fallout have to be so painful?
WILSON ERVIN, the chief risk officer at Credit Suisse, a large Swiss bank, cannot pinpoint the precise moment he knew something was up: “This was not like Paul on the road to Damascus.” But signs of the gathering subprime storm in America started to trigger alarms in late 2006. Data from the bank's trading desks and from mortgage servicers showed that conditions in the subprime market were worsening, and the bank decided to cut back on its exposures. At the same time Credit Suisse's proprietary risk model, designed to simulate the effect of crises, signalled a problem with the amount of risk-adjusted capital absorbed by its portfolio of leveraged loans. It duly started hedging its exposure to these assets as well...

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Tags: subprime, started, proprietary, servicersshowed, model, desks, mortgage, servicers, trading