Sunday, 21 September 2008

AIG’s Dangerous Collapse- A Credit Derivatives Risk Primer

While it may look superficially similar to the recent implosions of such investment giants as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Lehman, the takeover and bailout of AIG is quite different, and means that the market is entering the next and even more dangerous phase. What is driving the fall of AIG – and potential government losses that may far, far exceed the $85 billion bailout announced late on September 16th - is not mortgages or real estate (directly), but fears that AIG’s huge, global credit-default swap positions will unravel. The $62 trillion dollar credit derivatives market is 50 times the size of the subprime mortgage derivatives market, and is indeed larger than the entire global economy.

Unfortunately, few people understand credit derivatives, or the full risks to the United States and global markets and economies. In this article, I will take a Credit Derivatives Primer that I published in the spring of 2008 - which anticipated this exact type of event - and update it for the current situation. Through reading this article, you should be able to greatly increase your knowledge of what credit derivatives are, and why they are a far greater danger than subprime mortgages. We will end with introducing some concepts about how individuals can protect themselves and even profit from these unprecedented market conditions – something you won’t find in recent financial history or conventional investments.


http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/amerman/2008/0917.html

AIG is like a domino that could cause a massive meltdown in the world economy - this is why all measures will be used to keep this institution afloat. Regardless, this rescue may ultimately fail.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, September 21st, 2008.]

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