SNS Reaal

  • 11 Mar 2013 at 4:15 PM

CDS Market Almost Ready For Another Greek Default

Last week ISDA, who are in charge of credit default swaps, circulated some proposed changes to CDS to account for all the Greek, Argentine, SNS, everything unpleasantness. This prompted me to try out my one journalistic technique – calling1 ISDA and asking them to send me a copy – but they declined, so we’ll just rely on this research note from JPMorgan’s Saul Doctor and Danny White. Here’s the gist:2

ISDA will publish a list of “Package Observable Bonds” (POBs) based on size, liquidity, maturity and governing law. The proposals suggest that there could be one domestic and one international law bond in each of the following silos – a) 1-3 years, b) 3-12 years, c) 12-30 years – based on a set of rules that determine the largest and most frequently traded bond in each silo. An initial POB will remain as such unless, prior to the Credit Event, it no longer meets the deliverability criteria, is called/matures, or is reduced below a threshold. New bonds would be added when a particular bucket is empty.

If a Credit Event occurs (Restructuring or other Credit Event) and a POB has been restructured into a package, then that package, in its entirety, will be deliverable into the auction. For example if a POB with a notional of $100m is written down by 50% and the remaining portion converted into 50 shares, then the 50 shares could be delivered against $100m of CDS. If there is more than one package on offer, then the one that has the highest subscribers will be chosen. All obligations meeting the deliverability criteria remain deliverable as long as they were issued prior to the Credit Event.

So lots of people have been calling for this for a long time – me least of all, but also real people like the Managed Funds Association and Darrell Duffie. But you get a sense from that summary of how it’s more complicated than dopes like me think. Read more »

  • 11 Feb 2013 at 3:01 PM

CDS Contracts Not Ready For The Ways We Go Bankrupt Now

CDS, what is wrong with you? Here is how CDS should work:

  • There are bonds.
  • You buy CDS that is supposed to pay off if something goes wrong with the bonds.
  • Something goes wrong with the bonds, insofar as they default.
  • Like so:

  • So you scoop up a Defaulted Bond, hand it to the CDS seller, and he hands you back the face amount of the bond.
  • He’s stuck with the Defaulted Bond, and effectively loses the difference between the face amount of the bond and the value of the Defaulted Bond.

In the modern world here is what often happens:

  • There are bonds.
  • You buy CDS that is supposed to pay off if something goes wrong with the bonds.
  • Something goes wrong with the bonds, insofar as they poof into some weird garbage-y thing or assortment of garbage-y things.
  • Like so:

Read more »