Entries Tagged 'Derivatives' ↓

What Did Goldman Do Wrong? Betting on ‘Library Binding’

Once upon a time long ago in a land faraway, there was a community of successful business people who wanted more books to read. They decided to pool their resources and create a brand new library.

These people founded a beautiful new library building in the center of their city. They sought the best librarian in the land, so they offered the extra incentive of fees. In addition to a salary and bonuses, their librarian could earn fees for services. They instructed their librarian to uphold two of Mr. S.R. Ranganathan’s “five laws of library science”:

A book for every reader.
A reader for every book.

Our industrious librarian immediately began making deals with both book publishers and library patrons, charging each side a fee. These deals were all based on the value of books. So these kinds of deals quickly become labeled “book derivatives,” or “BODs” for short.
Continue reading →

Financial Derivatives – CDSs & CDOs: How Big Is the Financial Mess?

[NOTE: Today’s news:  bondholders with derivatives force GM towards bankruptcy. How many more companies might this happen to?]

According to Ira Glass’ “This American Life” program on NPR, the scope of the financial problem is as big as that huge 100 foot wave in the movie, “The Perfect Storm.” The title of the NPR show is “Another Frightening Show about the Economy.”  Included is a terrific section on derivatives, specifically the type of derivatives called credit default swaps (CDSs). [minutes 20-40 of Oct. 3-5 episode 365 on http://www.NPR.org]
Continue reading →