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Credit Suisse's Adams Square CDO Wipe-Out

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Last night Standard & Poors announced that it was lowering its ratings on a CDO called Adams Square I. The CDO, which was managed by Credit Suisse and has been in liquidation since November, will apparently have insufficient assets to fully-cover its super senior swap and there will be nothing left over for distributions to holders of the other classes of notes. S&P has downgraded it's rates to a 'D' on the senior swaps and every other class of notes.
This should make it a little harder for those who have been insisting that the Citadel discount—the 74% discount Citadel got when it bought a portfolio of asset backed securities from E*Trade—did not provide an indicator of prices in the market. That argument largely hinged on the idea that the securities involved were too heterogeneous of an asset class for a package price to indicate anything reliable about prices individual securities. But now we have an example of even highly rated paper—triple As, in the case of the best rated Adams Square notes—that looks like it will pay nothing. At least when it comes to Adams Square, the paper seems far less heterogeneous than the ratings would have implied. Now it's all wallpaper.
Of course, it's always dangerous to make any blanket statement about a market as heterogenous as CDOs. But with the market trading as lightly as it is, it is not re-assuring to hear those who claim to be marking their CDO portfolios to the market brushing off every actual market price as irrelevant. One thing that looks clear from the Adams Square wipe-out is that the idea that the Citadel discount created a floor is probably far too optimistic.
"This is a fairly big leap from even the most dire CDO news we’ve heard in the past couple months, where losses of the 10-30 per cent order were the most bearish estimates for AAA tranches," FT Alphaville notes.
Or, as Calculated Risk puts it even more simply: "From triple AAA to nothing. That is a deep cut."

Mortgage CDO Liquidates at Below 25 Cents on Dollar
CDO wipeout: AAA noteholders get nothing [FT Alphaville]
CDO Liquidates for "Less than 25% of par value" [Calculated Risk]


Layoffs Watch: Credit Suisse

The House Of Dougan has apparently said Do svidaniya to a handful of comrades.

Layoffs Watch '12: Credit Suisse

While Brady Dougan is keeping his job, the same cannot be said for 1/3 of European investment bankers. Credit Suisse is to cut senior staff in its European investment banking department by up to a third, three sources familiar with the matter said, as tighter regulation and weak markets hit the sector. "In the European investment banking business, they are going to get rid of 60 directors and managing directors," one source said on Monday. The investment banking department affected advises on mergers and acquisitions, stock market listings, financing and debt issues, as opposed to other areas of the broader investment bank that focus on securities trading. "It is about a third of the directors and 10-15 percent of the MDs," the first source said, referring to what are typically two most senior job ranks in the banking world. The layoffs would happen in July, this person said. The formal redundancy process can last several months. A second source said the cuts could end up affecting 20-30 percent of senior investment banking staff in Europe. Credit Suisse To Make Heavy Job Cuts In Europe [Reuters]